“Artificial” artificial intelligence

Humans are much better at certain tasks than computers; identifying objects in a photograph for example. This is the fundamental premise behind Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. You get paid for helping out a computer! For each Human Intelligence Task (HIT) you complete successfully Amazon credits your account. Interesting idea.

I had a brief look through the list of tasks and most of them involve choosing a photograph from a list that best represents a particular object; storefronts seem to be quite popular. Presumably this has something to do with Amazon’s Yellow Pages service. As well as searching for a particular business you can “walk” down a block and look at the shops that are located there; this probably explains why there are so many HITs involving identifying storefronts.

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