Interrupting invisibilities and bridging worlds: An essay on the work of turkopticon

Amazon Mechanical Turk works by keeping worlds apart. Mechanical Turk is a web-based labor market that draws workers scattered all over the world to perform small bits of digital labor for a few dollars an hour. Amazon’s engineers and managers designed the system to make up for the failure of artificial intelligence to automate fully their data-processing tasks. Failing to replace low-status workers with machines, Amazon simulated machines with hidden, globally distributed, contingent low-status workers.Turkopticon creates a short circuit between these worlds. Workers call their employers to account and engage in mutual aid. Turkopticon offers a forum and format for workers to review employers and to see others’ reviews while browsing Mechanical Turk for work.

Irani, L. and Silberman, S. (2013), 'Interrupting invisibilities and bridging worlds: An essay on the work on Turkopticon,' Essay, Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Metadata

  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • professional services
  • Online moderately skilled click work
  • United States
  • 2013
  • Other
  • representation, industrial relations, social dialogue
  • English
  • Pacific Northwest College of Art (Research institute)
  • Open access
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