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Amazon's Mechanical Turk Project
In 1769, Hungarian nobleman Wolfgang von Kempelen astonished Europe by building a mechanical chess-playing automaton that defeated nearly every opponent it faced. A life-sized wooden mannequin, adorned with a fur-trimmed robe and a turban, Kempelen’s "Turk" was seated behind a cabinet and toured Europe confounding such brilliant challengers as Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte. To persuade skeptical audiences, Kempelen would slide open the cabinet’s doors to reveal the intricate set of gears, cogs and springs that powered his invention. He convinced them that he had built a machine that made decisions using artificial intelligence. What they did not know was the secret behind the Mechanical Turk: a human chess master cleverly concealed inside.
 
Amazon have created a web service usage project that is based on this principle of having humans behind a mechanical façade - have a look at http://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome
 
Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 10:34 PM Life , Architecture , .Net | Back to top


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