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Inside Amazon’s clickworker platform: How half a million people are being paid pennies to train AI

Reading Time: 17 minutes

Internet platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk let companies break jobs into smaller tasks and offer them to people across the globe. But, do they democratize work or exploit the disempowered?

Each morning when she wakes up, Kristy Milland powers up her home computer in Toronto, logs into Amazon Mechanical Turk, and waits for her computer to ding.

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Disqus lays off 11 as it plans a deeper focus on data

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Some downsizing and refocusing is underway at Disqus, the startup incubated at Y-Combinator that became an early mover in the business of offering a plug-in to help online publishers manage comments on stories. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that the company has laid of 11 people, about 20 percent of its small staff, as it prepares to shift its business deeper into data services for publishers and advertisers.

The cuts have been made in several departments, from sales through to engineering as part of the company “rebalancing” its priorities in light of that shift.

Disqus, co-founded in 2007 by Daniel Ha (who is still its CEO) and Jason Yan and with only $10.5 million raised in funding in all that time, is perhaps best known for its free commenting platform, which is in use across millions of websites and other communities today.

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