MTurk Python Guide: Part 0 – Introduction
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MTurk Python Guide: Part 0 – Introduction


Technologies: Amazon Mechanical Turk, Javascript, Python

What You’ll Learn In This Series

  • How to create and customize a HIT.
  • How to figure out how much to pay workers.
  • How to upload assignments using the API.
  • How to download results and pay workers using the API.
  • How to improve your results by requiring multiple workers to complete each assignment.

Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is an exciting new technology for businesses and researchers. At its most basic it lets you create tasks for other people to complete. For example: categorizing photos, transcribing text from an audio file, or flagging comments with profanity. More generally, Mechanical Turk is a tool for digitizing real-world artifacts or leveraging human intelligence to understand and improve existing data.


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Here are a few of the typical uses for Mechanical Turk:

How Twitter Users Feels About Someone

Mechanical Turk task for sentiment analysis.

Copying Business Information From A Receipt

Mechanical Turk task for receipt classification and transcription.

Digitizing A Business Card

Mechanical Turk task for business card transcription.

Mechanical Turk is like a swiss army knife for digitizing information and giving surveys. In this series I aim to give you the tools to do this yourself. I’ve designed it to get you up a running quickly. No fluff, just a step-by-step guide to working with MTurk. By the time we’re done you should know your way around. You’ll also have the tools to start using Turk in your business or research.

Continue To Part 1.

Important Links

  • Turkopticon – Know your reputation. This website allows turkers to rate you. There is also a browser plugin that shows your rating to turkers when they look at your HITs. This is a great tool for getting feedback on how you and your HITs are perceived.
  • TurkerNation – Talk to turkers. This is a place for turkers to chat and share HITs. A great way to communicate with turkers!
  • Making The Most Of Mechanical Turk – Tips and tricks. One of the best blog posts I found when I first started learning all of this stuff.
  • Reddit MTurk Communities Wiki – This was mentioned in the comments below. It lists a lot more places to communicate with turkers.