Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to find an image for a presentation

For some time I have been itching to find something to use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for. One day while putting together a presentation I finally found something I could use it for.  I needed a specific picture for a presentation and could find some that were similar to what I needed but could never find the specific image I was looking for.

After wasting over an hour searching online I decided it was no longer worth my time or the brain numbing boredom to continue looking myself.  I setup a HIT on the Mechanical Turk and spun the wheel to see what I would get.

Here is the form I filled out to setup the HIT:

Here is the image I used as an example to show what I was looking for:

And here are the links that I received from the HITS:

Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4 Image 5

Image 6 Image 7 Image 8 Image 9 Image 10

Total cost: $ 1.65

Total time: 20 minutes.  Since it was my first time it took a few minutes to figure out the setup for the description and to put money into an account to pay for HITS.

Considering I had searched for over an hour before using the Mechanical Turk, the $1.65 was money well spent.

About russ

Working on an MBA at Queens University of Charlotte, playing with cows that look like oreos cookies and figuring out ways to delegate the boring tasks in life.


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  • Morisy

    Which picture did you use? I like the use case, but it seems like non were suitable for a presentation, and only one matched your description. Was the $1.65 really worth it if it didn’t help you out?

    Thanks for sharing, it’s really helpful to see others’ experiences.

    • Russ Hammond

      I used #6 which was not perfect but close enough. The $1.65 was worth it to try out Mturk and learn how to use it’s not so friendly UI.

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