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HUMAN Protocol vs. Mechanical Turk

HUMAN Blog
Fundamentals
HUMAN Protocol
Jan 20, 2022

HUMAN Protocol vs. Mechanical Turk

2 min read

Given its similar ability to provide microwork to distributed individuals at scale, HUMAN Protocol is often viewed alongside Mechanical Turk. But there are distinct differences between the two. Differences which, when examined, help to frame the USPs of HUMAN Protocol, and highlight its significance as a means of supporting fair, permissionless job markets.

A sustainable job market is one in which supply is met by demand, and demand by supply. The supporting mechanisms have to serve both sides. Robotizing humans is not the answer to providing new ways of working, nor of creating better opportunities for human workers. It is important to note that HUMAN Protocol provides the tools to support nearly any type of job market, and to help organizations develop their own, rather than being a provider of any particular type of work. HUMAN Protocol is also designed to pair with existing solutions; any work pool may be integrated with it, and have work settled on it.

  1. HUMAN Protocol is decentralized, permissionless, and automated. 

HUMAN Protocol operates across multiple blockchains: distributed ledgers in which there is no single point of control. HUMAN Protocol tokenizes work to support trustless job markets, but it is not the market itself; the Protocol ensures the rules and automatically verifies the outcome of work produced. When no single entity is in control, greater control is given to those operating within the network: Requesters, Workers, developers, enterprises.

Responses to interactions – for example, the creation or completion of a job – are automated, and no manual intervention from HUMAN occurs (nor is necessary). 

  1. Open, free job markets. 

HUMAN Protocol supports open job markets. This means that contributions and responses can be verified by any person or machine. The Protocol itself is open-sourced; anybody can view or access the code to verify how jobs are processed, or to build applications – or custom integrations – on top of the Protocol.

“Free” refers to the lack of a single entity dictating the value of work, or independently arbitrating the outcome of that work. The Requester sets the price for work; they choose what they wish to pay, and the Worker decides whether that pay meets their requirements. 

Whereas on the Mechanical Turk platform a fee – up to 20% – is applied to the Worker, HUMAN Protocol applies a much smaller fee in HMT on both sides, which is subtracted upon completion of the smart bounty (the job).

  1. Control and capability

A thriving job market is one in which the requirements of both sides are met. For Requesters, this means access to diverse workforces, the ability to dictate their own terms, and control. For Workers, it means the ability to choose the work that best suits them, and being paid immediately for its completion. 

Through a combination of technologies, HUMAN Protocol is able to better meet the needs of both sides. 

On the Requester side, jobs can be canceled, and a pro-rata fee is applied for the tasks completed up to the point of cancellation. Requesters define the work they wish to have completed, and specify the requirements. Tasks are subject to an automatic quality-verification mechanism, and only work that matches the Requesters’ requirements is paid for. This also means protection against bots: a common problem on Mechanical Turk which dilutes the quality of work, and jeopardizes the rewards available to Workers.

On the Worker side, the Protocol is designed to automate the release of funds upon successful completion of work. Payments can be distributed without delay. 

Significantly, HUMAN Protocol is built to tokenize almost any type of work; by design, Requesters may increase the reward for more challenging jobs to incentivize participation from more specialized Workers, including those of a specific profession. 

  1. Designed to empower human workers

A common criticism of platforms such as Mechanical Turk is that they subject human workers to remedial and repetitive work. HUMAN Protocol, however, supports markets in which nearly any kind of job can be requested. This includes tasks that require specialist input. In the example of a data-labeling market – the first to run on top of the Protocol – both specialized (such as a medical image) and general data can be requested to be labeled, to produce highly detailed and relevant datasets. 

Through HUMAN Protocol, almost any work, requiring almost any qualification, can be represented and rewarded. 

That said, as well as challenging existing solutions, HUMAN Protocol is also designed to pair with them. The HUMAN community is working on a solution to monitoring work requested through HUMAN Protocol and fulfilling it through MTurk, as well as other Web 2.0 solutions. This allows organizations to apply additional scale to their projects, and access alternative workforces. 

For the latest updates on HUMAN Protocol, follow us on Twitter or join our Discord. Alternatively, to enquire about integrations, usage, or to learn more about HUMAN Protocol, get in contact with the HUMAN team.

Legal Disclaimer

The HUMAN Protocol Foundation makes no representation, warranty, or undertaking, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or reasonableness of the information contained here. Any assumptions, opinions, and estimations expressed constitute the HUMAN Protocol Foundation’s judgment as of the time of publishing and are subject to change without notice. Any projection contained within the information presented here is based on a number of assumptions, and there can be no guarantee that any projected outcomes will be achieved.

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