June 11, 2009

Interesting state of The Mechanical Turk roundup.

This especially important :

For most users of mechanical turk (us included), it has become an API call that fits smoothly within their workflow. (Or as someone at the meetup wryly suggested, turk is a Remote Person Call.) The last pair of speakers, Lilly Irani and Six Silberman, reminded us that behind mechanical turk lies thousands of workers† ("the crowd in the cloud") working without (health care) benefits, oftentimes at extremely low hourly wages. Irani and Silberman suggested that rather than abstracting mechanical turk services as mere API calls, users should start thinking of the plight of the turks ("Mechanical Turk Bill of Rights") behind the service. As a first step they have a released a Firefox plugin that aims to narrow the information assymetry between the turks (those performing task) and requesters (those posting tasks). While requesters can see ratings for turks, requesters aren't rated: Turkopticon lets turks rate requesters. They need more turks to download and start using Turkopticon, so if you know any mechanical turks please enourage them do so.
Post a Comment