There is a great edit on Ars Technica about “The secret lives of Google raters”. I found the section on how there always are some people, humans, behind all the AI Google, and Facebook, want to harp about. Following passage is a sheer eye-opener.
UCLA Information Studies professor Sarah Roberts has been studying the lives of raters for the past five years, traveling from California to the Philippines to interview workers. She told Ars that one constant in all their stories is that these workers feel isolated from the companies like Google and Facebook, even though most of their work benefits them. Some say that they know they work for Google, but Google doesn’t know they work there.
Roberts believes that big companies like Google want to keep raters hidden, largely because they like to boast about how many tasks they handle with AI. “Actually their AIs are people in the Philippines,” she told Ars by phone. “Are there algorithms in all these tasks? Sure. Is it 100 percent? Not even close. There’s some kind of profit motive behind these claims [about how] machines and algorithms run the show.”
The plight of these raters is real. For all the advancements in AI and automation, there is always some “dirty” work that’s deemed too unimportant, too trivial, to only be pushed “down” to humans. The trend is disquieting.