Mechanical Turk Writing

  • Status Closed
  • Budget $100 - $200 USD

Project Description

This is a website for allowing users to create a special kind of Mechanical Turk task that involves writing. Essentially people will use this site to outsource small writing tasks to Mechanical Turk.

The writing will be done by multiple people on Mechanical Turk, each paid a small amount of money (like $[url removed, login to view]). The document will keep being improved until a set amount of money is spent on the job. All the iterations of the writing will be shown to the user who requested the work.

In this version of the site, no money will change hands with the site. The site will ask users for their Amazon AWS access keys (users will need to create accounts on Amazon to use this site).

## Deliverables

The site centers around the idea of a "writing task". A "writing task" is akin to an article on Wikipedia, which multiple people contribute to. A writing task is initiated with instructions. These instructions will be shown to a Mechanical Turkk worker--they will also have a textbox in which to fulfill the instructions.

For example: the user might supply the instructions "Please describe a tree". The first MTurk worker will see these instructions, and enter something like "a tree is tall and brown". The system will get these results and create a new task on MTurk asking people to vote whether or not the previous description is better than nothing, e.g., that the MTurk worker didn't cheat and just supply garbage. Then the system will create an MTurk task asking someone to improve the text "a tree is tall and brown" according to the instructions "Please describe a tree." Then people will vote whether this improvement is better or worse than the previous descriptions. This process will continue until an amount of money, specified by the user, is consumed. Improvers will get paid according to the user's specifications (default $[url removed, login to view]), and voters will get paid according to the user's specifications (default $[url removed, login to view]). The user may choose the minimum acceptance level of writers and voters separately (default 0 for writers, and 90 for voters).

A user may also supply their e-mail address, and they will be e-mailed whenever improvements are made to the text. They do not need to supply their e-mail.

A user may create an account on the site. If they do, they can create tasks which are visible only to themselves (optionally, i.e., a private flag on the task). Tasks created by user's who are not logged in will be visible to everyone.

Tasks will be created with an upper limit of spending (this should be adjustable by the site administrator, and should be set to $5 to start with).

You are welcome to interface with MTurk however you wish; however, I have a toolkit that may help. It is a Java/JavaScript system. The code for managing the tasks would be written in JavaScript using a special API. The Java code would communicate with the database to know the parameters of tasks. I can provide this toolkit, and will be available to explain it. However, again, you don't need to use it.

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