why are ai workers paid pennies while tech giants make billions
Last updated on October 16th, 2023 at 05:12 am
There’s an Australian company called Appen. They hire people from countries where wages are low to do small tasks that help train AI (Artificial Intelligence).
These workers help big tech companies like Amazon and Meta make their AI smarter. The market for this kind of work is growing super fast, expected to reach $17.1 billion by 2030.
Many of these workers are from struggling economic countries, such as Venezuela. For them, the work is not stable and the pay is really low.
One woman, Oskarina Fuentes, makes around $1 for an hour and a half of work. And that’s when there’s work. But most of the time there is no work available.
Workers need to be glued to their computers, waiting for tasks to pop up. Sometimes, they have to start at 2 in the morning because that’s when the tasks come. And they don’t have the job security or benefits that regular employees do.
Some experts say this is a new form of “data colonialism.” It’s like these workers are stuck in a race they can’t win, as tech keeps changing. They want to be recognized as employees and hope the industry can be unionized.
The point is, that while AI is booming, the people making it smart are often stuck in tough spots. They want to be treated better and are trying to come together to make that happen. So, this is a big deal for freelance workers and raises questions about ethics in the tech world.
The situation is not fair. Big tech companies make lots of money from AI but pay very little to the people who help train it. It’s like they’re using these workers but not really caring about them. This is especially tough for people in poor countries. They need the money and have few options.
Data colonialism is like a new way of taking advantage. In the past, powerful countries would take resources from weaker ones.
Now, big companies are taking data from poor countries but not giving much back. They use the data to make money and become more powerful, while the workers get paid very little.
So, should Appen do this? I think they should treat workers better. If you’re making big profits, you should also share some with the people who help you get there. Fair pay and better conditions could make things right.