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HITs - Human Intelligence Tasks - is a crowdsourcing online marketplace that enables individuals or businesses to co-ordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks that computers are unable to do.

Last updated: April 15, 2014

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a micro-job crowd-sourcing online marketplace where Requesters use and pay for human intelligence from Workers (also known as Providers or Turks) to perform tasks that computers can’t do.

In the beginning Mturk started as an Amazon internal project to find duplicates in its product description pages. Later in 2005 it went public and as of today it’s still in beta, but it’s advanced and it’s functioning without any major problems.

Tasks are also known as HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), and can vary depending on the requester. For example you can write descriptions, reviews, articles; tag and categorize images, data entry, fill questionnaires and surveys, looking for information for businesses, transcribing, rewriting, proofreading and many other tasks…

So if you want to make money from home with Amazon Mechanical Turk, you will need Amazon account, apply for Mturk and get approved. But be aware that last couple of years Amazon tightened its security over new applications and it’s not that easy to get approved these days, especially if you are non US resident your chances are very, very slim.

Once you are in, from the HIT interface you can choose different tasks to complete. For each Human intelligence task (HIT) listed, there is appropriate reward. You can earn from $0.01 up to $100 per HIT, however vast majority of the HITs are under $1.

High paying HITs disappear as quickly as they are posted, but the good thing is that HIT’s are posted all the time. So refreshing browser (F5) is a good strategy, as you’ll never know when a high paying HIT is coming.

When you complete HIT it needs to be approved by Requester, once approved you will get the amount on your account. Be also aware that there are scammers on MTURK, so if Requester is paying $20 to review website or fill your personal info, it’s probably scam.

At the beginning you cannot expect to make a lot of money with Mturk. After working for some time, you will develop instinct for: what is the best task for yourself, easily spot scammers, and how you can make most money based on the time spent/earn ratio for each particular HIT.

Just whatever you do make sure that you finish any HITs you accepted, no matter how boring or underpaid is, as this sways your reputation with negative “hit return rate”.

There three types of TURKS: Beginners, Intermediates and Masters. How Amazon grades its TURKS is not public. However it is widely believed that TURKS below 1000 competed tasks are Beginners, with 1000-5000 completed tasks are Intermediates, and with more than 5000 completed HIT’s are Masters. Provided that TURK has very low “hit return rate”.

Logically, due to their reputation, Intermediate and Master TURKS have better paying tasks to complete. So what this basically means is that if you honestly stick long enough with MTURK, you will achieve level where you can make decent money by working from home. Like all things, to get there, dedication, consistency, patience and hard work are imperative.

User interface is basic with most of the relevant information you need for each HIT, but there is a feel that it can and needs to be improved.

There are quite a few alternative platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk, the most notable are: clickworker, crowdsource, rapidworkers and many more...


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