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Using the power of the ‘net for good

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
11 September 2007

As most people will know by now, famous adventurer Steve Fossett went missing in Nevada last week while flying his mini plane. Well, Google and Amazon have now joined the search and are asking their users to help scour the area of desert where he was last known to have been using Google Earth. This is something we have been expecting for a while, and it’s great that Google are recognising the power of their tool and the applications it could have. New satelite imagery has been taken of the area, and by logging in to the Amazon Mechanical Turk page for the project you can sign up to search a small area and report back on your findings.

Fossett

If you haven’t used the Mechanical Turks project before, you should definitely take a look. Amazon define the project’s origin and purposes here, but the basics are as follows:

"Amazon Mechanical Turk provides a web services API for computers to integrate "artificial artificial intelligence" directly into their processing by making requests of humans. Developers use the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service to submit tasks to the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site, approve completed tasks, and incorporate the answers into their software applications."

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