Use for M Turk
May 6, 2009 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Help me spend my $100 Mechanical Turk credit !?! I have about $100 credit with Amazon's MT system and I haven't used the service for about a year. I just don't need it for anything. If you know what Mechanical Turk is (see here or here if not) please tell me how you would blow through $100 just for fun (or good use or charity or save-the-planet, etc.)
posted by Xhris to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I would pay $100 for a brass band to follow one of my friends round for a day / few hours.
Perhaps you could use MT to create a paid flash mob?
posted by errspy at 4:49 PM on May 6, 2009

1. Take a sharp, high-resolution, square photo of ${whatever}.
2. Slice it into 100 equal squares.
3. Post the slices for $1 each, with instructions to reproduce them artistically in some way. Only accept one response per person.
4. Combine the results.
5. ???
6. Profit!
posted by teraflop at 5:14 PM on May 6, 2009

Do something along the lines of The Sheep Market where a guy commissioned 10,000 MTurkers at $0.02 each to draw a sheep facing left. You could have them draw something you like, create a signature for your name, fill in a cell with their favorite color, etc. and then pay another MTurker to put all the images together. Voila, a couple pieces of collage art by random individuals on the Internet.

teraflop described what the guy who created Sheep Market also did: digitally diced a $100 bill into 10,000 pieces and then asked 10,000 MTurkers to reproduce a piece.
posted by junesix at 5:19 PM on May 6, 2009

Pay twenty people five bucks to sign up for a Metafilter account.
posted by box at 9:20 PM on May 6, 2009

Aww, to traditional: strong drink and bad women. Mechanical women.
posted by sammyo at 9:55 PM on May 6, 2009

As a philosophical side project, I've been paying people on Mechanical Turk to be kind. Basically, for around $0.50, people take a picture of themselves doing something nice for someone. ("Money can buy happiness" and all that.)

Unfortunately, I've gotten some degree of psychological criticism from colleagues: it's not kind if you're getting paid, people doing kind things are actually getting a benefit because they are improving their reputation as a nice person, and so on.

Two proposals I've been meaning to try out, that you might consider with your $100:
  1. Ask people to anonymously do something kind for someone they don't know, but provide some evidence of it.
  2. Ask people to either do something good or evil (or an equivalent decision), pay them either way, and find out which direction they go with.
In general, Mechanical Turk is really a treasure trove for the applied ethicist or the procrastinating computer scientist.

P.S. You may also consider the Dolores Labs blog for ideas.
posted by pbh at 10:15 PM on May 6, 2009

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