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Guide

Your Guide to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

General Information. Mechanical Turk , often referred to as ‘Mturk’, is a crowdsourcing site operated by ‘Amazon’. The site aims to utilize what they call “Artificial Artificial Intelligence”. In other words, it is meant to employ humans such as yourself to complete jobs that computers simply can not, or should not.

On this site, a ‘Requester’ submits a ‘Hit’, which is a task meant to be completed by any ‘Worker’ who meets their qualifications. A Requester may submit as many Hits of a task as they like, so long as their deposited funds are sufficient to pay every Worker the full amount per completed Hit. In this way, a Requester can not avoid paying their Workers for finished/submitted work.

Requester submits Hit  gt; Hit is completed by Worker  gt; Requester approves Hit  gt; Worker is paid

Registration. It is easy to register, simply visit the site and register as a Worker , preferably after reading additional information on the job: here .

Qualifications. Thousands of Hits will become available to you upon signing in, although many require ‘Qualifications’. Some Qualifications are granted to you instantly upon clicking “Request Qualification”, while others require stricter processes including simple questionnaires, or even emailed tests which must be completed successfully to achieve Qualification. Transcribe Anywhere will enhance the qualifications of the person. The learning will become easy and convenient for the person. An account creation will be required to take the advantage of YouTube transcription studies. The Internet connection of the person should be stable and strong.

Earning Money. Many Hits on the site provide incentives to complete the tasks, ranging from 1 cent for simple Google searches, to upwards of 5 dollars for lengthy surveys, or more difficult tasks such as transcription.

Avoid searching for “Reward amount (most first)” top Hits, as many of these which offer 30-80+ dollars for simple tasks such as “register for a site”, “complete this simple survey for XX dollars”, “review our new website”, etc., are generally attempts at leading you to illegitimate websites, or methods of gathering emails for spamming lists.

Use the “Find Hits containing _” search function to find hits that meet your key words, qualifications, and minimum cash amount. Search for keywords such as “Games”, “Spanish” (or any other language you are fluent in; easily find copy writing or transcription jobs this way), etc., to narrow down the results.

Though many Hits go for less than a dollar, cumulative Hits can net you plenty of easy cash, so don’t be discouraged. Give them a try and decide for yourself if they are worth the time.

If you have accepted a Hit, but later decided that it wasn’t worth your time after all, simply select “Return Hit” to avoid completing it.

Search for surveys which serve educational purposes. These generally inform you about their intended purpose beforehand, and require 10 minutes or above to complete. They are utilized by universities to aggregate the data anonymously for studies, and pay between 50 cents to upwards of 4 dollars. Many of them are interesting and may help you discover something about yourself as you complete the questions honestly. These rarely request more than your Mturk Worker ID, which is found in the “your account” tab, and NEVER ask for personally identifying information such as bank account/ real name/ address. They will however oftentimes ask for your age or age group, ethnicity, and depending on the survey, may ask for your political and religious affiliation or relationship status. This last information is safe, and the cause is for beneficial studies, so decide if this is okay before agreeing to their surveys.

Retrieving the Money. The money you earn through completed and approved Hits can be retrieved from Mturk after 10 days of active hit-completion (2+ hits per day minimum during this once occurring 10 day period), with no maximum payout, but a $10 USD minimum for transfers to your bank account. Alternatively, there is no minimum balance required to cash out in the form of an Amazon Gift card, the other form of payment. Credit card information is safe on this site, as it is operated by well known online retailer Amazon. The site may ask you for your SSN to prove residential and tax information. It is known to be encrypted and not accessible by anyone other than Amazon and approved federal institutions . I have personally withdrawn over $50 USD successfully through my Mturk account, and can say that the transfer took less than a day to be processed, rather than the 5-7 day period which is mentioned.

Happy informed turking, and good luck.

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