The artificial intelligence (AI) boom leaves many believing that everything is automated and AI is replacing humans one by one. This interesting subject came to us from the MIT Technology Review in their article, “The AI gig economy is coming for you.”

In fact, the AI industry runs on the invisible labor of humans. And to make matters worse, they are frequently working in isolated and terrible conditions. Because of the popularity of AI, this unfortunately means that the model is spreading to more and more businesses.

Human workers don’t just label the data that makes AI work. Sometimes human workers are the AI. For example, Amazon’s Alexa requires a team of transcribers.

Another layer of concern is that these employees are almost always working in isolation. They do not have the capability or opportunity of recognizing labor injustices and can’t organize to improve working conditions and benefits. This only creates a vicious pattern that carries forward the results of this system.

Melody K. Smith

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