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Computing & Technology > Blogging > People Counting People

People Counting People

The news sites have all sorts of photos today comparing today’s inauguration crowds to those in 2009 and other years. The headcount estimate they’ll report tomorrow is made painstakingly, dividing the aerial photo (taken by weather balloon since photographers aren’t allowed to fly over the crowd) into a grid. Then actual people count the little tiny heads.

What I found interesting was a mention of Amazon’s job service, MechanicalTurk. If you don’t know, this is a site where you can sign up to earn money by doing little tasks, like categorizing online images, for instance. There are all sorts of website things needed by companies that can't be done very well by a computer, only a human.

MechanicalTurk is aimed at countries where there are huge numbers of very poor people -- and a very low average income -- because the tasks pay only pennies. The amount you can earn even if you worked all day on it, wouldn’t make sense for someone who lives in the US.

Anyway, the media companies outsource a lot of the photo-crowd-counting to Mechanical Turk workers.

(The Mechanical Turk name refers to a machine that supposedly played chess against humans. It was fake; there was a real person hidden in a compartment underneath who made it work. The job site MechanicalTurk.com also is all about human effort, not machine.)

posted on Jan 20, 2017 12:14 PM ()


New administration: bringing jobs back to America - maybe those pennies a day jobs.
comment by troutbend on Jan 20, 2017 9:42 PM ()
On World News ABC today they showed a picture of Obama's crowd and there wasn't an empty space then showed a picture today at the exact same time and there were a lot of empty white squares of land!!
comment by greatmartin on Jan 20, 2017 9:34 PM ()
That is interesting. Is your water heater problem solved. Those things
can be such downers.
comment by elderjane on Jan 20, 2017 4:38 PM ()

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