AI's Dirty Secret: Poor People in the Developing World Are Doing Most of the Work

Dirty Secret Artificial intelligence has a dirty secret that we’re not talking nearly enough about. It’s that Silicon Valley AI firms are relying on cheap labor overseas, and tasking them with the grueling labor required to make them actually work — and more often than not, their wages and working conditions are poor, the Washington Post reports. Millions of people in the Philippines are being tasked with labeling images, allowing AI algorithms to make sense of the world. Sometimes they’re asked to make sense of chunks of text to make sure AI chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT don’t end up spurting out nonsense. But many of these workers are being exploited and severely underpaid — a worrying and often overlooked aspect of the ongoing AI arms race, as debates have focused instead on grabbier issues of potential bias or the possibility of AI going rogue. Paying Up According to the report, San Francisco-based startup Scale AI employs at least 10,000 people in the Philippines on a platform called Remotasks. However, according to data and interviews obtained by the WP, the company has often failed to pay them on time (a Scale AI spokesperson told WaPo that “delays or interruptions to payments are exceedingly rare.”) A number of Remotasks freelancers told the newspaper that they were stiffed on payments or never received the money they were initially promised. One 26-year-old worker spent three days on a project, hoping to get $50. He only got $12. Filipino AI ethicist Dominic Ligot called these new…AI's Dirty Secret: Poor People in the Developing World Are Doing Most of the Work

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