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…Bicycles can be built for 2,000?

What does the collective voice of 2,088 people singing Bicycle Built for Two into Amazon’s Mechanical Turk system sound like?

Probably a little something like this:

…Mechanical Turk has many faces?

Mechanical Turk Faces

Andy Baio from was intrigued by his initial experience with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, and wanted to know more about the people that participate in the service, including what they look like, and how much it would cost for them to reveal their faces.

To make the process easy, he fired up the Mechanical Turk and added a simple task to the queue: Upload a photo of yourself holding a handwritten sign that says “I Turk for…”, filling out why you turk.

At $.05 per photo, there wasn’t much response, but at $.25, the responses started to come in, and by $.50, he had a decent sized sample.

The results? 30 people total – 20 men and 10 women, almost all of which were white and in their 20s and 30s. 21 turk for money, and the other 9 turk for fun or boredom.

[Waxy – The Faces of Mechanical Turk]

…Ten Thousand Cents is not a lot of money?

Ten Thousand Cents

Ten Thousand Cents is a digital artwork that created a representation of the $100 bill using 10,000 anonymous artists, each paid one cent per contribution.

By using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the two main artists (Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima) were able to enlist the help of thousands of other people/artists to recreate the bill. Each person was given a small area to draw, and was paid one cent to do so, though they were never told the overall goal.

Thus, the total labor cost to create the bill, the artwork being created, and the reproductions available for purchase are all $100.

    The project explores the circumstances we live in, a new and uncharted combination of digital labor markets, “crowdsourcing,” “virtual economies,” and digital reproduction.

In all, it took almost five months to complete, and the result is surprisingly accurate.

Be sure to visit the site for a clickable pic that lets you view a movie of each image that went into the final piece.

[Ten Thousand Cents]

[Via: Swissmiss]

…You can help find Jim Gray?

Sample Imagery

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is “artificial artificial intelligence”, a system where humans do what humans do best, get paid to act as “machines” that can perform tasks that are easier for humans to do than their computer counterpart, such as make judgment calls, photo identification, etc. The system is being put to the test with the disappearance of Jim Gray, a famous computer scientist, and his personal sailboat. Amazon arranged for a full satellite sweep of the area where Jim is reported to be missing, and the images have all been uploaded to the S3 storage service. Volunteers can take part in the Jim Gray Mechanical Turk by scanning for his boat among the pictures they are shown, and tagging any that need further analysis by experts. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack, but the hope is that with enough eyes, only one person needs to find the needle in his small portion of the stack. I think this is a very interesting concept, and one that could play a huge roll in future missing person cases like this. I hope that it works, both for Jim’s sake and for the sake of the program in the future. Give a little bit of your time today, because you never know when you’re going to need in back in the future.

[Amazon – Jim Gray Mechanical Turk]

[Via: TechCrunch]