Computers aren't all that smart really. They might be able to do a lot of complex data handling that would make our brains explode and they facilitate many other tasks we do, but when it comes to the real creative and perceptive tasks, humans do it best. And thanks to Mturk.com, you can make money off that ability.
The Monetizer found out about the MTurk program thanks to an MSNBC article about "4 Ways to Make Money at Home". MTurk stands for "Mechanical Turk" and is Amazon.com's "Artificial Artificial" Intelligence program. It will pay you to work on tasks called "HIT"s. According to the site:
What is a HIT?
HIT stands for Human Intelligence Task. These are tasks that people are willing to pay you to complete. For example a HIT might ask: "Is there a pizza parlour in this photograph?" Typically these tasks are extraordinarily difficult for computers, but simple for humans to answer.
For example, computers are pretty smart but not smart enough to figure out if a picture has a pizza parlor in it. Or smart enough to pull out more relevant data from text articles. Or smart enough to create future prediction type questions for a site like GuessNow.com. These tasks involve the human powers of perception and reading comprehension. Computers aren't so smart after all when you really think about it, but we still need them to do our taxes, blog and make money...
Now before you think this will be an easy way to pile up money, beware. The downfall of this sort of thing like most moneymaking concepts online, it's going to require your precious time and effort to get paid. I took a look at opportunities, and there were many that paid just pennies, with potential for a "bonus pay". The highest paying opportunity was $2.50 per task and requires you find links to physical maps online for locations like Gedu, Bhutan. The Monetizer previewed a few "transcription" jobs for around $1 each, but let me tell you these were no easy tasks. The HITs basically required you to listen to a 5 minute mp3 of speaking from a lecture or discussion. It was usually a person speaking quickly and sometimes noises and other interference came into play. Other times, there were other people talking but from a distance to the main speaker, making them hard to hear. Bottom line, for just $1 it seems like a complex human job to do, but there may be more skilled transcription recorders out there.
Of course, you just might find some tasks that you enjoy and are generally easy for you to perform on the mturk.com site. It could provide some additional bucks here or there, but be sure to investigate it based on your preferences. You can also create your own HITs for others to complete through the program, which may be valuable if you're looking to generate specific content for websites and blogs. I noticed one offer for people to submit a story about the worst thing they did when drunk with a bonus pay if a picture was included. So even being drunk can make you money online..
So if you're interested in outdoing your computer and getting some extra money for it, head to Mturk.com to check out the latest HIT opportunities!