What is Amazon Mechanical Turk? What is this Amazon about?

What is Amazon Mechanical Turk? Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing website with which businesses can hire remotely located “crowdworkers” to perform discrete on-demand tasks that computers are currently unable to do as economically. It is operated under Amazon Web Services, and is owned by Amazon.

Employers (known as requesters) post jobs known as Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), such as identifying specific content in an image or video, writing product descriptions, or answering survey questions.

Workers, colloquially known as Turkers or crowdworkers, browse among existing jobs and complete them in exchange for a fee set by the employer. To place jobs, the requesting programs use an open application programming interface (API), or the more limited MTurk Requester site. As of April 2019, Requesters could register from 49 approved countries.

Amazon Mechanical Turk

What is Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Amazon Mechanical Turk provides an on-demand, scalable, human workforce to complete jobs that humans can do better than computers. Amazon Mechanical Turk software formalizes job offers to the thousands of Workers willing to do piecemeal work at their convenience.

The software also retrieves work performed and compiles it for you, the Requester, who pays the Workers for satisfactory work (only). Optional qualification tests enable you to select competent Workers.

The kinds of tasks humans can complete better than computers includes finding objects in photos, writing reviews of restaurants, movies, or businesses, translating text passages into foreign languages, getting the hours of operation of the business center within a hotel, determining if a hotel is family-friendly, or telling you the most relevant search results for a given phrase.

This guide presents a very slim slice of the Amazon Mechanical Turk API. For a complete description of the entire API, go to the Amazon Mechanical Turk API Reference. For more information about using the API, go to the Amazon Mechanical Turk Developer Guide.

READ  How many trees are in The Amazon Rainforest? What is this?

What Tasks Can I Do On Mechanical Turk?

Repetitive and menial.

Going back to the 18th-century illusion, the tasks the business usually farm out are those which are too simple for humans, but a bit too complex for computers. These tasks are called “microtasks”, but are offered to Turkers as HITs, which stands for Human Intelligence Tasks.

As a new Turker, the most common ones you’ll run into are:

  • Data entry and recording and spreadsheet work
  • Audio and video transcriptions
  • Categorizing images and information
  • Cleanup and validation
  • Evaluating items for quality
  • Answering surveys
  • Data collection, duplication, and validation
  • Internet search queries
  • Comparing items and data records
  • Content moderation
  • YouTube video ratings
  • And more

Notice that the tasks listed have a few things in common: they are usually repetitive and some take minimal effort to do.

A 2016 study by Pew Research Center found that over 37% of HITs are tasks requiring workers to record information appearing in an image, usually a sales receipt, while the second largest assignment is transcription of audio or video files at 26%. Answering surveys is also quite common, with the most common topics being consumer products, personality, finance, and education.

According to Amazon, the most common use cases for Mechanical Turk is for machine learning (ML) workflows and business process outsourcing.

Amazon Mechanical Turk

How Much Can I Earn on Mechanical Turk?

Amazon Mechanical Turk is not exactly a viable primary source of income, and for some cases, it takes quite a bit of time (and a lot of HITs) before becoming a viable side hustle.

When searching for tasks, each HIT will have a price paid out to workers as well as a time allotment to complete it. The easiest and lowest-paying tasks go for as low as a penny, while others can be done for somewhere from $0.50 to a couple of dollars. Occasionally, Turkers will also run into high-paying ones that pay upwards of $50 upon completion.

READ  What is Amazon SG? Start selling on Amazon in Singapore?

Because of the nature of the tasks and the pay, MTurk has been described as a “poorly paid hell” to where loads of people flocked during the lockdowns. An analysis of the platform published in 2018 revealed that of the 3.8 million tasks analyzed, which were performed by 2676 workers, such workers earned a median hourly wage of about $2 an hour, while only 4 percent of workers earned more than $7.25 an hour. On the flip side, some side hustlers have earned tens of thousands over several years of Turking.

Like all other freelance platforms, Amazon Mechanical Turk requires you to put in some time doing loads of low-paying HITs before you become eligible for high-paying ones. By eligible, I mean that you’ll have to complete a certain number of HITs (say, 500) to be qualified to work on higher-paying tasks. Also keep in mind that when HITs are listed, they go fast, and on a first come, first served basis.

If you’re looking to take turking seriously and really compete for good HITs, there are entire subreddits regularly updated by Turkers for high-paying jobs. These communities can also introduce you to experienced Turkers with their own systems of snagging the best paying tasks quickly. If you’re a younger person looking for ways to make money, check out our six business ideas for making money online.

How Do I Sign Up for Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Since its inception, Turkers have primarily come from the United States, but the ratio of Turkers show a graduate spread from the US predominantly to countries like China and India. As of writing, a website called MTurk Tracker, which updates Turker demographics hourly, shows that of all active Turkers, over 70% come from the US, over 10% from India, and the rest come from other locations. In the past, as much as 30% of Turkers came from India.

READ  What are Amazon Women? How and what is this Amazon about?

The first thing to know here is that MTurk is tied up to Amazon, which means you should already have an Amazon account in order to sign up either as a business or a turker. Consequently, you will also have to set up an Amazon Payments account once your application is approved.

Once you’re done with the registration form, Amazon will review it and send you an email approving or denying it—the usual turnaround is a couple of days. While waiting, you can check out Amazon’s MTurk FAQs to learn more details.

Once approved, you can start scouring the dashboard for HITs that you are qualified to do, and earn for every completed task. The dashboard will also let you set your HIT goal so you can monitor productivity and track your progress as a Turker.

On the other hand, Requesters, who can sign up here can integrate MTurk into their business using API. To set up jobs they want to delegate to Turkers, businesses need to provide the following basic information:

  • How much it pays
  • How many workers they need to work on the divided task
  • How much time a worker has to complete a task

Requesters also have a say whether or not the work submitted is acceptable, which can affect a Turker’s reputation on the platform, ergo, their likelihood of getting higher-paying HITs.

Amazon Mechanical Turk

Above is information about What is Amazon Mechanical Turk? What is this Amazon about? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of Amazon Mechanical Turk. Thank you for reading our post.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *