Mechanical Turks in the Era of Technoilliteracy

Constructions of technoliteracy positing a progressive narrative from orality through literacy to digitality overlook the radical significance of computer networks’ emergence. We are in a era when literacy is best framed not as a human prerogative but an aspect of complex systems that decipher our behaviorial patterns. As intelligible symbols for these meta-intelligences, we have become newly post-literate. This presentation applies new materialist thought to “mechanical turk” activities—distributed interpretive tasks that are difficult for machines but trivial for humans—in an era of technoilliteracy to identify a productive role for humans predicated on inventive correlation.