The trainer, the verifier, the imitator: Three ways in which human platform workers support artificial intelligence - Equipe Sociologie, Information-Communication Design Access content directly
Journal Articles Big Data & Society Year : 2020

The trainer, the verifier, the imitator: Three ways in which human platform workers support artificial intelligence

Abstract

This paper sheds light on the role of digital platform labour in the development of today's artificial intelligence, predicated on data-intensive machine learning algorithms. Focus is on the specific ways in which outsourcing of data tasks to myriad 'micro-workers', recruited and managed through specialized platforms, powers virtual assistants, self-driving vehicles and connected objects. Using qualitative data from multiple sources, we show that micro-work performs a variety of functions, between three poles that we label, respectively, 'artificial intelligence preparation', 'artificial intelligence verification' and 'artificial intelligence impersonation'. Because of the wide scope of application of micro-work, it is a structural component of contemporary artificial intelligence production processes - not an ephemeral form of support that may vanish once the technology reaches maturity stage. Through the lens of micro-work, we prefigure the policy implications of a future in which data technologies do not replace human workforce but imply its marginalization and precariousness.
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Dates and versions

hal-02554196 , version 1 (25-04-2020)

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Paola Tubaro, Antonio A. Casilli, Marion Coville. The trainer, the verifier, the imitator: Three ways in which human platform workers support artificial intelligence. Big Data & Society, 2020, 7 (1), pp.205395172091977. ⟨10.1177/2053951720919776⟩. ⟨hal-02554196⟩
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