Amazon’s grocery stores ditched their “Just Walk Out” technology on Tuesday, though it turned out the automated checkout system included 1,000 reviewers in India. However, this is hardly the only example of times when automation breakthroughs were truly powered by human workers in hiding – a phenomenon known as “The Mechanical Turk.”

The Mechanical Turk refers to a fraudulent chess-playing machine from the year 1770. It appeared to be an automated machine that could play a competitive chess match against any human. The machine was touted around the world for decades, amazing crowds as the first-ever automaton. However, it was later revealed to be an elaborate hoax, where a master chess player was hiding inside the machine.

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