A worker at Amazon service publishes an open letter to Mr. Bezos, "We are not algorithms"


As part of that service, Amazon has entitled "Marketplace for work that requires competent human resources"Amazon Mechanical Turk(Amazon · Mechanical Tak) "is offered. We allocate work that computer is not good at online, and pay the fee according to work, but the worker said to Jeff Bezos to make an improvement as "treatment is too low" We have opened an open letter addressed to it.

Amazon's Mechanical Turk workers protest: 'I am a human being, not an algorithm' | Technology | The Guardian

◆ What is Amazon Mechanical Turk
The name of Mechanical Turk, which means "machine-driven Turkish" when literally translated, is an automatic chess machine developed in 1770 "TurkIt was taken from the name of. "Turkish" looked like a machine to play chess automatically, but in reality it turned out that it was a clever prank device that people were entering and manipulating inside later. He won many games before burning down in 1854, and among the opponents, well-known people such as Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin were included.


Amazon service "Amazon Mechanical Truk(MTurk) "should also be easy to understand if you consider it as" human-machined processing service "in the same way. The development of computer technology is remarkable, but there are still many sites where human judgment is required. By mediating such work through Amazon via Amazon, service users are outsourcing labor-intensive work at low cost, workers doing work actually get paid, Amazon also collects commissions It is becoming.

Amazon Mechanical Turk (Market Place for Crowdsourcing) | Amazon Web Services (AWS Japanese)

Although computing technology continues to improve, there are still plenty of things human beings can do far more effectively than computers. For example, identification of pictures and animation objects, deduplication of data, transcription of voice recordings, research of data details etc. Traditionally, such tasks were temporarily hiring a large amount of workforce (which is time consuming and expensive, difficult to scale up), and whether it has been left uncompleted.

Mechanical Turk is aimed at accessing talented personnel in a simple, extensible and cost-effective way. Companies and developers who need to complete tasks (called Human Intelligence Tasks or "HIT") use the robust Mechanical Turk API, they are low cost and high quality at thousands of people and around the world You can access on-demand workers and program their completed work directly into your business processes and systems. With Mechanical Turk, developers and businesses can achieve their goals faster and at lower cost than before.

◆ Open letter addressed to Mr. Bezos, CEO of Amazon
In North America where Amazon is based, it is mTurk which is offered service from 2005, but as a so-called worker who works as a "work force" worker (aka:Takar(Turker)) are present abundantly. Christian Miland, a 35-year-old woman living in Canada, is one of such takers, with more than 830,000 tasks in charge since the beginning of work in 2005, with an average of about 20 cents per 20 Yen) in order to earn income. Turker like Mr. Miland is currently seen to have 500,000 people worldwide, many of which are believed to utilize mTurk as a major income source.

However, voices of dissatisfaction with the compensation plan are raised. Amazon has not set minimum compensation for remuneration for work to be done, and the amount paid per hour of work may be less than 2 dollars (about 240 yen). Furthermore, Amazon collects a commission fee of 10%, and if the client who did not like the condition of work refuses to receive it, not only the reward will not be paid at all, in some cases the talker's account is invalidated without any explanation It is said that it may be done.

In response to a request to improve the treatment of Takar, Professor Michael Bernstein of Stanford University launched a site "DYNAMO" cooperated by Takar to launch a campaign to send an open letter to Amazon's Bezos .


Messages from many takers are written on DYNAMO and you can see how many people are suffering from being in the same circumstances. Mr. Miland mentioned above wrote "I am a human being, not an algorithm," and is appealing for improvement of the situation.

I am a Turker: middle age, entrepreneur, university student, mom, wife, reliant on my mTurk income to keep my family safe from foreclosure. I do not Turk for $ 1.45 per hour nor do I live in a developing country, I am A skilled and intelligent worker, and I Turk as my main source of income and it is currently my chosen career.I am a human being, not an algorithm,And yet Requestors seem to think I am there to have a fellow Turkers with a fair wage, and in fact we are getting anything near to minimum wage for the "easy" Dealing with unfair rejections is not easy. Being a Turker is not easy.

I am a 30-year-old takar, an entrepreneur, I rely on income from mTurk to protect college students, mothers, wives, and living houses. I am not doing a Takar for the hourly wage of $ 1 45 cents (about 160 yen), nor is it working in developing countries. I am a skilled and knowledgeable worker, mTurk is the main source of income, I am working as my career.I am a human. It is not an algorithm.Even more, it does not mean that the requestor (the company that requests work) is not registered as a discard piece for wage reduction. The requester did not present fair remuneration to me and my colleague Taker and I did not pay tribute. On the contrary, I'm talking about what I am grateful for because I'm getting rewards close to the minimum wage amount for "easy-going" work. It is not easy to find a script to improve work efficiency, respond to unreasonable truncation, and to be a takar.

In DYNAMO, many writings similar to Mr. Miland are gathered and I will let you know the height of concern, but its contents are mainly moderate. Professor Bernstein, who runs the site, said, "This is not a place to disseminate dissatisfaction and not to scare impossible hardships for many writes, seeking to change / improve, and more than anything" to get noticed " There is it.

Miranda sent a mail to Mr. Bezos' address ([email protected]) even before writing to DYNAMO, but he said that there was a direct answer returned. Does Mr. Bezos and Amazon respond to this case?

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