21. November 2005 04:16
No, that's not a typo.
I have long been enamoured of the Amazon.com WebService API and have recently began actually using them in a semi productive fashion. In the web service developer's newsletter I see this in tonight's release:
"When we think of interfaces between human beings and computers, we usually assume that the human being is the one requesting that a task be completed, and the computer is completing the task and providing the results. What if this process were reversed and a computer program could ask a human being to perform a task and return the results? What if it could coordinate many human beings to perform a task?
Amazon Mechanical Turk provides a web services API for computers to integrate Artificial Artificial Intelligence directly into their processing by making requests of humans. Developers use the Amazon Mechanical Turk web services API to submit tasks to the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site, approve completed tasks, and incorporate the answers into their software applications. To the application, the transaction looks very much like any remote procedure call - the application sends the request, and the service returns the results. In reality, a network of humans fuels this Artificial Artificial Intelligence by coming to the web site, searching for and completing tasks, and receiving payment for their work."
You can read more about it here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html/ref=aws_gen_nl13amt/104-4070773-8438325?node=15879911
I find this interesting in light of all the captcha and captcha breaking and ideas for better captcha going on. It seems necessary for irony's sake to now implemented an automated system that can respond to these requests and get it right...