Believe it or not there are still numerous things that people do better than computers. Or at least it’s easier to have a person do it than to try and program a computer to recognize what a person can in a matter of seconds. This is the basic idea behind Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and how you can make some relatively easy money at home on your spare time.
One of the first ever artificial intelligence, or AI, programs dates all the way back to late 18th century, if you can believe that. At that time, a Hungarian nobleman had an idea for a chess playing program not unlike the basic computer chess games of today, only on a real chess board. He dressed his “AI program” in elaborate Turkish robes and it was referred to as Turk. Ironically, we have come full circle asking people to do what the computer cannot in identifying information on the internet.
The sign-up process for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is fairly straightforward and simple, in fact if you are reading this you most likely already have everything you need, a computer and an internet connection. Follow the instructions of the enrollment process and you are pretty much ready to start making money right away. To get started now go to https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome
Responsibilities will vary from task to task. Some common responsibilities include filling out surveys, checking the user friendliness of a site, and transcribing podcast into text. Sometimes you can find jobs that will ask you to sort websites into categories. To do this you would visit a variety of websites and sort them into categories (Usually you will be given a word or phrase to search on a web search engine such as Google or Bing). Then you will flip through the returned searches and categorize in choices such as “entertainment” or “motivational” or a wide variety of options that are relevant.
Another “HIT” or human intelligence task, Amazon’s word for a job, is mapping out geographic locations. You may be asked to look at and identify specific items in pictures such as marking out landmarks or architecture. Typically you will open the picture in paint and draw a line or circle over the items that they ask you to identify. It is very important that you read the instructions to make sure that you are properly logging all of your activity so that you will be paid properly.
By using your brain, computer, and free time with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk you can make some additional income from home to help in these rough economic times. Just make sure that you take the time to review the tasks that you are choosing to do, as incomplete or inaccurate work is the main reason why people do not get paid what they expected to make.