Have you ever joked that your boss works like a robot? Well, it could soon be a reality, for a web service has been launched that software algorithms to automatically recruit, hire and pay workers to do a wide variety of tasks.
The website normally provides a forum for companies wanting to outsource their work.
Now it has been upgraded so that developers can write software to post job adverts on the site, take on respondents and pay them for the results without human input.
"For the last 60 years, humans have controlled software - now we're getting to the stage where software can control humans," New Scientist quoted Matt Barrie of Australian website Freelancer.com as saying.
For example, a program written for a store with a large inventory could automatically recruit salespeople to sell its products and send more work the way of people that do the best job.
As the software is doing the commissioning and assessing the results, it avoids the need for a company to hire other people to rate the work that was done.
Barrie said that there are enough programmers on the site's books for it to be possible to write software that can even improve itself, by recruiting people to improve its own code.