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Jonathan Zittrain delivers a highly informative future innovation keynote discussing innovations happening in the world of cloud commuting. The speech is particularly informative for people who are not familiar with the Amazon Mechanical Turk, which is an Internet marketplace that enables computer programmers to co-ordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks that computers can’t yet do.
Examples of “mechanical turk” tasks include programs that shorten written documents. People typically assume it is a computer condensing their work in real-time on their screens, but really it is people from all over the world, working on one sentence a time. While tasks like this would typically be compensated with a penny, the system has now been gamified, allowing big companies to outsource for fee.
Another example too place in 2006, when an American state set up a webcam at the Mexican border and enlisted people to watch it online and call authorities if they spot any apparently illegal crossings. The process had been gamified and cost the state government next to nothing.
Zittrain’s future innovation keynote explores what is essentially an army on the Internet.