Humanoid has launched what it calls the ‘first human brainpower API’. The Internet service, built by a team of Carnegie Mellon robotics researchers, offers computer programmers a way to put human intelligence into software applications. Humanoid is initially available on an invite-only basis and costs $4.99 a hour.

Humanoid offers a drag-and-drop interface that allows engineers to create tasks and send instructions to humans. Proprietary software then breaks the tasks into small pieces and routes them to workers across the globe. Meanwhile, Humanoid’s artificially intelligent workforce manager ensures accuracy and prevents fraud without human oversight.

Matt Mireles (Co-founder and CEO, Humanoid): Through software, we’re replicating what good bosses have done since the beginning of time.

It took the company eighteen months to build an autonomous workforce manager. “We are at the frontier of machine learning,” explains Humanoid’s Chief Technology Officer Matt Swanson, a graduate of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Humanoid is not the first company to try this idea. In 2006, Amazon launched Mechanical Turk, an experimental marketplace for micro-work that it dubbed “artificial artificial intelligence.”

In 2009, CrowdFlower launched with a promise to create order from the chaos of Mechanical Turk by giving the same tasks to several workers and checking for agreement.