Mobile menu

Have you heard about Mechanical Turk?
Thread poster: ATIL KAYHAN

Local time: 01:07
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Jul 2, 2007

There is a relatively new website by Amazon called Mechanical Turk ( that I would like to share with you.

Mechanical Turk is a pretty interesting site, and it might be worthwhile to check it out in case you never visited it. People (called Requesters) submit simple tasks (called HIT, or Human Intelligence Task) to be completed by others. These tasks usually take minutes to complete, and they do not require complex skills or knowledge.

These tasks are listed on Mechanical Turk. People who are interested in solving/completing these tasks sign in as Amazon members, and complete the tasks that they want. Then, they are paid extremely cheap fees for completing these tasks, and I am talking as low as 1 cent per each task here though some tasks can pay as high as one dollar. These amounts accumulate in their Amazon account, and they can redeem them to buy books, etc at Amazon.

I discovered it a few days ago, and my hard work produced only $2.98 so far in my account.


Direct link Reply with quote

Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:07
English to German
+ ...
Have you checked with amazon Jul 2, 2007

that this is indeed their website and not some fraud. I find the title a little irritating and since I am not so much into political correctness, I guess there should be people, who think it an outright insult.

The whole concept is inconsistent, since on one hand they title it artificial intelligence and mechanical turk and what they wantis neither artificial nor mechanical.

I'd stay away from it, I neither like the idea of putting my time to waste for almost no pay and then getting paid only if the poster of a "HIT" is pleased.

Direct link Reply with quote
Local time: 00:07
English to German
... Jul 2, 2007


It is indeed Amazon's website, although I have always wondered why there was no storm of outrage about the name. In case you're interested, the name comes from an old "chess machine" (which was actually a hoax). There's a theory that this machine is also the origin of the German verb "türken", i.e. "to fake".

Direct link Reply with quote

Juliana Starkman  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
This is a legit site, Jul 2, 2007

notwithstanding its ridiculous prices. My sister has been using it for a few years now to make extra pocket money, as she is a frighteningly speedy touch typer, and is able to get free books, etc. doing this while she watches tv or whatever. Unless you type super fast, and use it as a real extra, it seems like a waste of time and energy...

Direct link Reply with quote
juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:07
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
For my indignant colleagues Jul 4, 2007

The "Mechanical Turk" is a well documented chess playing figure created by one of the most original brains of the 18th century, a Hungarian polimath and poliglot (spoke 8 languages), named Farkas Kempelen (1734-1804).

He built the chess playing machine in 1769, as a diversion. The machine was incredibly successful and popular, and it was paraded around the Courts of Europe and ended up in America with a guy called Maelzel.

The machine, - operated by some very good chess player - had an inner mechanism, which helped the player to manipulate the figures by the dummy Turk on the outside.

The scientific essence for us now is the idea of robotic manipulation, prevalent in our everyday life.

Mr Kempelen's main hobby (I can't call it work, because by then he was a high official in the Chancellery) was a voice producing machine, and his book on the human speech mechanism is regarded as the foundation of phonetics.

He also designed the fountaints at the Schonbrunn Palace in Wienna, drew and painted very well, wrote and translated plays and poems.

This spring there was an exhibition of his life and work, together with the reproduction of the "Mechanical Turk" at the "Palace of Art" - Műcsarnok, I think it was still on when the ProZ conference in Budapest took place.

Edgar Allen Poe wrote an article about the Mechanical Turk:

and here is a short info about the exhibition, organised by the C3 Foundation and ZKM, Karlsruhe,
part of the Bipolar Programme of the German Federal Cultural Fund, the Ungarischer Akzent – German Cultural Season in Hungary, and the Budapest Spring Festival 2007.űcsarnok&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=uk

[Edited at 2007-07-04 11:29]

Direct link Reply with quote

To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Have you heard about Mechanical Turk?

Advanced search

SDL Trados Studio 2015 Freelance
The industry-leading translation software used by over 200,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »

All of
  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs