On April 1st, the Amazon team published findings from a groundbreaking experiment:

"A couple of weeks ago Martin and I arrived at the office at about the same time. He was trying to get Rufus to settle down. Rufus wasn't cooperating and Martin told me that Rufus was a bit bored. Jokingly I suggested that we could probably train Rufus to do some Mechanical Turk HITS."

If your company is interested in pursuing a dogsourcing initiative, some useful resources can be found on Wikpedia:
  • Evaluating the intelligence of a dog: "It is likely that dogs do not have the ability to premeditate an action to solve a problem." Systems like Mechanical Turk can help remedy this shortfall, by prompting the canine to action.
  • Jobs performed by dogs, including the most impressive...
  • Assistive Dogs: No joke here. Assistive dogs have to employ constant decision making to keep their disabled owners out of harm's way.


dedmond29 said...

It only worked because it was a Ridgeback. If they tried that same experiment with a Golden Retriever, I can't imagine what the outcome would have been.

Scott said...

Cool experiment!
Were you successful? If yes, what kind of HITs could your dog do?

Ed Kohler said...

I've thought about this recently while dogsitting. Dogs would be great at fire hydrant image recognition.