Let’s say an algorithm does what we need it to do really well 90% of the time. We have a choice to build the app to handle the other 10% which could come at substantial cost, or introduce a human workflow process. Ultimately we’d want to have true artificial intelligence without the cost, but Mechanical Turk is an effort to fill that gap until we figure that out. There are obviously other solutions out there as well, BizTalk, InfoPath, etc - but this is complete open. It’s basically a set of APIs that anyone can publish “tasks” to. Humans log into www.mturk.com to complete those tasks and get paid to do so. Interesting here is that you don’t need someone on salary to complete the tasks; you just pay as they complete them. It’s still in beta so there’s a lot to be worked out like qualifications, security, etc - but it is definitely worth a look.
I’ll definitely be interested to see how WCF will play in this space.