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The Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is … a crowdsourcing marketplace that enables computer programs to co-ordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks which computers are unable to do. Requesters, the human beings that write these programs, are able to pose tasks known as HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), such as choosing the best among several photographs of a storefront, writing product descriptions, or identifying performers on music CDs. Workers … can then browse among existing tasks and complete them for a monetary payment set by the Requester.via wikipedia
Crowded is an as-yet unreleased radio show/podcast that is made up of segments of audio recorded by Mechanical Turk workers. Each episode has a mechanism, such as:
The workers call in and are given, on average, $5-$8 to send an audio recording that fits the mechanism. They are given the option of calling a US phone number and leaving a message, or recording themselves on HoundBite or YouTube.
After doing several projects using crowdsourcing, I wanted to do a project that was about the faceless people who are doing these tasks. Who are they? Where do they come from? Why do they do these jobs?
You could argue that I am still just using them and not really humanizing them so much as exploiting their willingness to tell personal stories for a few bucks. But you can argue a lot of things.