Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Combination of Things

Recently I heard about and explored Amazon's Mechanical Turk program. Because Amazon has tons of money they often experiment with new business ventures such as Amazon Studios. Amazon's MTurk site is a program where all sorts of short random tasks are uploaded. These tasks are things like search something on Google and type in what the first result to come back is. Some other examples are sort a series of photographs by categories or write a short review for an audio clip. These tasks seem strange until you realize why they are being asked of you. The tasks are called HITs (human intelligence tasks) and they are tasks that are too hard too program artificial intelligence to do. It is easy for a human to look at a picture and quickly determine if there is a person in frame or not but not so easy for a computer. For every task completed you earn anywhere from a penny to two or three bucks. Companies will outsource a ton of simple tasks to this site and have them completed by people from all over the world. Alright so... how this relates to Motion Graphics, an artist by the name of Aaron Koblin uploaded a task to Amazon MTurk asking users to draw a sheep facing to the left. The interface he developed for people to do this was created in Processing. He paid each "artist" 2 cents for their drawing and compiled them together into an art piece which has been exhibited in Spain, Japan, The US, Australia, and the Netherlands. You can check it out here. He made a good deal of money for only paying 2 cents a picture too.

1 comment :

  1. This is seriously awesome. First because you can make money by doing the task. But also I think that art piece idea is awesome. I find art installations where the public can be involved in creating it so fascinating!