Amazon Web Services released a beta version of mechanical turk last week. see here for a description of the term.
What does Turk have to do with Web Services? Mechturk is a framework that allows people to get paid for tasks that humans are much better at than computers (e.g. image recognition). But it allows applications to submit those tasks. So the tables are suddenly turned and we have this apocolyptic scenario where applications submit tasks, and you have a bunch of humans plugged into a system, doing jobs for the applications. How whack is that?
Without hyperboling, it actually takes outsourcing to the next level. It may change the economics of research; at least for a short while. Why bother putting millions of dollars of research into something like image classification when you can outsource it on a massive scale to people all around the world for a fraction of the cost?
I think a lot of economists, philosophers, computer scientists, criminals, and sociologists are going to have a fun time thinking/talking/writing about mech turk.