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One of the most popular uses for Amazon's Mechanical Turk is categorization projects and the Turk team has now made it easier for users to setup and request categorization tasks with a new app.
In the announcement of the new app, Amazon acknowledges that before the app, the process had become a bit unwieldy, particularly for new or novice users:
Before the Categorization Application, each Requester had to become an expert at designing categorization HITs in html, qualifying Workers, pricing HIT (Human Intelligence Task)s and analyzing the results. The Categorization Application automates many of these steps by leveraging the best practices and insights we’ve learned from over 5 years of experience in helping Requesters get better, faster results.
Essentially, the app takes up some of the guess work that many users might otherwise end up stumbling through on their own. The app uses pre-designed HITs and refers work to pre-selected categorization "master workers." There's also built-in price recommendations and analysis tools to further streamline the process.
In the end, the new app takes a process that had left many users guessing and ultimately making bad requests and reduces it to four simple steps.
If you use Mechanical Turk, please let us know in the comments what you think of the new app.