Amazon iPhone App Taps Humans for Product Matches

Free software links uploaded photos to researchers and potential sales

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A new Amazon application for the iPhone is tapping humans to help in your holiday shopping. Amazon Remembers is included in the free app, and lets users send photos to Amazon as sort of a to-do list.

While there, the photos get studied by a human eye so Amazon can also suggest related products you might want to buy. How convenient, for Amazon, anyway. The work gets sent to the company's Mechanical Turk service. There, human worker bees are enticed to do research for pennies on the hit.

Still, it's a plus for walking, breathing people -- what with Google bots and their ilk trying to take over shared intelligence on the Web. Mechanical Turk is one of a number of Web researchers, including ChaCha, that link research needs to far-flung humans.

Machines can do this sort of thing. Check out Like. It also has an iPhone app for uploading photos for product matches, found this time by a computer.