By Hannah Onstad
Originally published by AlterNet.org)
In today’s digital gold rush, microtask workers are getting paid, though possibly shortchanged.
Waves of outsourcing have been killing manufacturing and call center jobs here in the U.S. for decades. Now a class of lower-paid tech workers may be working themselves right out of a job.
In 2005, Amazon launched the Mechanical Turk Service, a service marketplace where humans perform microtasks that computers don’t do as well as humans...yet.
Microtasks are small units of work that require human decision-making—things like identifying objects in photos, writing short descriptions, translating text from one language to another, and identifying emotion in written text. With 500,000 Turkers, as they are known, in 190 countries, some willing to work for as little as $1.38 an hour, they represent a huge informal workforce.
About this Blog
Written by Hannah Onstad, unless specified otherwise. Occasionally, posts here have been previously published elsewhere, and if so, that is noted at the top.