What Is Amazon MTurk? (All You Need to Know)

It’s safe to say that Amazon is always at the forefront of new technology and digital solutions, as the global leader continues to make waves in much more than just online shopping.

If you’re interested in crowdsourcing, then you may be surprised to learn Amazon has an option for that, too. So, what is Amazon MTurk, and how does it work? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!

What Is Amazon MTurk In [currentyear]?

Amazon Mechanical Turk is an Amazon-owned crowdsourcing website where businesses can hire remote workers to complete a variety of on-demand assignments in [currentyear]. MTurk was launched in November 2005, and created by Jeff Bezos, and it continues to operate today as part of Amazon Web Services. The majority of MTurk workers are located in the U.S. and India.

Keep reading for all you need to know about Amazon MTurk, including how to use it, and all the benefits of this crowdsourcing solution!

What Does Amazon MTurk Do?

MTurk helps businesses check things off their to-do list with a scalable workforce on one safe, secure platform.

The name comes from Hungarian history, and highlights the incredible value of the human mind, even in a world where artificial intelligence has emerged as the way of the future.

Essentially, MTurk is a marketplace for human intelligence and virtual task completion, as it allows businesses to outsource remote tasks to an on-demand workforce with diverse talent.

Not only is MTurk a crowdsourcing solution for organizations that need human intelligence without committing full-time resources, it’s also a work opportunity for talented all-rounders who want flexible assignments.

MTurk workers can choose from thousands of tasks whenever they have time, while businesses have peace of mind that actual people are performing certain jobs that computers may otherwise miss the mark on.

Some of the common tasks completed by the MTurk workforce include the following:

  • Transcribing audio interviews
  • Checking for duplicate data
  • Identifying elements in photos and videos
  • Gathering additional details for research
  • Producing website descriptions
  • Populating spreadsheets

Keep in mind these are just a few examples of MTurk tasks both new and returning users can take advantage of, as the opportunities are really endless with Amazon’s crowdsourcing website.

How Does Amazon MTurk Work?

How Does Amazon MTurk Work?

Amazon Mechanical Turk connects businesses to remote crowd workers who discreetly complete tasks that aren’t as efficient or accurate when relying on modern computers alone.

Businesses who sign up for MTurk on Amazon Web Services can send task requests to the crowdsource workforce.

Doing this eliminates the need for hiring an expensive temporary workforce to perform the jobs on-site.

Also, MTurk helps companies meet deadlines and complete projects by avoiding overdue or missed tasks with the help of a dedicated on-demand workforce.

Each MTurk job is referred to as a Human Intelligence Task (HIT).

This could be a question that needs to be answered, or a self-contained virtual job that a worker can complete after it’s requested by the customer.

In other words, Amazon MTurk Requesters, or business clients, create HITs to reflect each virtual task, and then wait for a worker to fulfill the request within a set timeframe.

Once the task is complete, Requesters have the choice to accept or reject the work.

All approved HITs must be paid within 30 days of submission, which offers an appropriate middle ground between company resources and remote worker requirements.

What Does HIT Mean on MTurk?

Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) are at the center of Amazon Mechanical Turk, as the crowdsourcing platform allows clients to submit remote jobs and approve them as necessary.

Requestors can set the allotted time on a HIT, so workers know how long they have to complete the job.

If the timer expires, and the worker has not yet submitted the task, then the HIT becomes available for other workers to pick up.

Amazon wants to ensure that businesses are satisfied with HIT completion, while workers are kept busy with numerous assignments, which supports the need for time limits on each HIT.

Workers are encouraged to pay close attention to the details in each HIT so they have a higher chance of getting their work approved quickly.

Workers should do their best on every HIT, as MTurk Requesters get to approve or reject the work.

Amazon does not play a role in the approval process, and cannot estimate how long it will take to get HITs approved.

However, as long as HITs are approved, then payment will be made within one month from the initial submission.

If Requesters are satisfied with the outcome, they may want to hire the worker for more HITs in the future.

Amazon recommends all MTurk workers carefully read instructions, complete HITs accurately, and return any tasks they cannot complete successfully.

All of these factors help to build and maintain a positive worker reputation.

In the event that a worker needs to return a HIT before completion, their rating will not be affected, and another worker will be able to get started on the task as soon as possible.

HITs offer the best of both worlds for all users on the MTurk crowdsourcing platform.

Indeed, businesses can fulfill their remote labor requirements, and workers can make a decent living on a variety of engaging tasks.

To know more, you can also read our posts on what is Amazon DSP, what is Amazon ECS, and what is Amazon Drive.


Since 2005, Amazon Mechanical Turk, or MTurk, has served as a leading crowdsourcing web platform, connecting businesses to remote crowd workers who take on urgent tasks that computers can’t perform.

Many companies around the world want extra reassurance that their projects will be completed thoroughly, and while computer technology is undoubtedly improving all the time, sometimes this tech just can’t compare to human intelligence.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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