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Looking at a photo and deciding whether the person depicted is happy, angry or sad may seem like a trivial task for anyone to do. However, differing contexts and other subtle factors make it very costly for a computer to do the same.
Being able to analyze subjective information automatically is an invaluable tool for small businesses. This data can be used to shape business decisions and drive profits.
One way to achieve this goal is through crowdsourcing. In other words, getting a large group of volunteers to participate in a common problem and combining their contirbutions. Actually organizing, funding, and managing a project like this can be daunting and expensive, this is where Amazon's Mechanical Turk comes in.
This talk explains how Mechanical Turk works and cover various ways in which it can be leveraged by anyone. We will cover use cases that have been successful, the mechanics of posting, processing and testing tasks, and specific tools for accomplishing these goals.
This talk was given by Michael Becker and Kelly O'Brien at the 2013 Philly Tech Week on April 23, 2013.