Oscar.howell/LOW AMT

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  • About the business model: “Behind the scenes, a network of humans fuels this artificial artificial intelligence by coming to the web site, searching for and completing tasks, and receiving payment for their work” (from Amazon's Website)
  • About the workers: “For people who want to earn money in their spare time” (from Amazon's Website)
  • About Redundancy and error filtering: “to auto-approving them when they receive two answers to the same HIT that match” (from Amazon's Website) - Requesters may rely on redundancy to filter out errors, or they may reject a task.
  • About Payment for the services rendered: “The account holders can choose to have this money transferred to their U.S. personal bank account or to their Amazon.com gift certificate balance, where they can use it to pay for purchases. Workers in India have the option of receiving bank checks denominated in Indian Rupees” (from Amazon's Website)
  • About International Providers: “To sign up for this service you need to provide birth date and your passport number, Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) number or Permanent Account Number (PAN). A scanned copy of your passport, EPIC or PAN card is also required. Once we've verified your information, you'll be able to withdraw your earnings in Indian Rupees” (from Amazon's Website)
  • Payment is in “Prepaid HITs”, a kind of token currency (like Linden Dollars) that must be bought by Requesters and redeemed by workers (Providers).
  • About the Token Currency and its expiration: “If no Prepaid HITs are purchased or paid to workers for at least two (2) years and six (6) months, consecutively, the balance in the Prepaid HIT balance will be automatically converted into an Amazon.com gift certificate". (from Amazon's Website)
  • Payment to foreign (non-US workers): "Requesters may redeem Prepaid HITs to purchase Amazon.com Gift Certificates to pay non-U.S. workers for services provided through Mechanical Turk" (from Amazon's Website)
  • Sign Up conditions: " I am over 18 years of age. I will comply with all applicable laws, including without limitation tax and filing requirements." (from Amazon's Website)
  • Who is the employer? “This Participation Agreement (the "Agreement") is between you and Amazon Mechanical Turk”

Participation Agreement – Role of AMT

(taken from the Mturk Participation Agreement, see References)

  • "Amazon Mechanical Turk and its Affiliates are not involved in the transactions between Requesters and Providers
  • "We have no control over the quality, safety or legality of the Services"
  • "Your use of the Site is at your own risk. Because Amazon Mechanical Turk is not involved in the actual transaction between Providers and Requesters, Amazon Mechanical Turk will not be involved in resolving any disputes between participants related to or arising out of the Services or any transaction"
  • "Funds will only be disbursed in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including without limitation the United States Patriot Act and the regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control."
  • "We reserve the right to terminate or suspend any Payment Account, or to delay the availability of any Prepaid HITs, transfer or disbursement of any amounts, in each case for any reason in our sole discretion"
  • "Taxes. You agree that it is your responsibility to determine any and all taxes and duties, including without limitation, sales, use, transfer, value added, withholding and other taxes and/or duties assessed, incurred or required to be collected, paid or withheld for any reason in connection with any request for, or performance of Services, or your use of the Site, or otherwise in connection with any action, inaction or omission of you or any of affiliate of yours, or any of your or their respective employees, agents, contractors or representatives ("Taxes") and to collect, withhold, report, and remit correct taxes to the appropriate tax authority, and to otherwise be responsible for the collection and payment of any and all Taxes. YOU ALSO AGREE THAT AMAZON MECHANICAL TURK AND ITS AFFILIATES ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO DETERMINE WHETHER TAXES APPLY AND ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE TO COLLECT, REPORT, OR REMIT ANY TAXES ARISING FROM ANY TRANSACTION."

Participation Agreement – Role of Requester

(taken from the Mturk Participation Agreement, see References)

  • "You acknowledge that, while Providers are agreeing to perform Services for you as independent contractors and not employees, repeated and frequent performance of Services by the same Provider on your behalf could result in reclassification of that employment status. If you have any questions about your obligations to comply with local laws and regulations pursuant to Section 6, you should seek independent legal advice."
  • "Further, you agree that you will only accept work product from Providers that has been submitted through the Site."

Participation Agreement – Role of Provider

(taken from the Mturk Participation Agreement, see References)

  • "any Services you perform is deemed a "work made for hire" for the benefit of the Requester, and all ownership rights, including worldwide intellectual property rights, will vest with the Requester immediately upon your performance of the Service"
  • "in your personal capacity as an independent contractor and not as an employee of the Requester"
  • Provider "will not use robots, scripts or other automated methods to complete the Services"
  • "you will not be entitled to any of the benefits that a Requester or Amazon Mechanical Turk may make available to its employees"

Comments from a Blog:

Taken from the Coding Horror Blog (see References)

"1) I visit (and buy things at) Amazon's site regularly (as Jeff said, primarily because of the reviews). Until this article, I'd never heard of their Mechanical Turk program. 2) I keep all my Amazon reviews in a big Word document here. Over the years, it looks like I've contributed 213 pages (or 97,055 words) of free reviews to Amazon. If they want to give away money, I'll gladly accept 5 cents a word :) ."

"We thought that most of the MT workload would come from overseas, namely China, Korea, and Indonesia, where paying 1 cent for a few seconds of work might be a good deal for both parties. However, we found that most of our workers were in the US, and as a group, they really wanted to get paid a lot for doing very little. There were some exceptions, of course, but most of my correspondents were somewhat indignant that they were not able to make a living off of determining not-so-subtle characteristics in data."