The Fight for “Ethical AI” and the Hidden Laborers Behind Artificial Intelligence

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Terms such as artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning bring to mind computers processing loads of data into uses for the real world. But the authors of a recent essay published in the magazine Noema say the truth is much uglier, and often ignored. “Far from the sophisticated, sentient machines portrayed in media and pop culture, so-called AI systems are fueled by millions of underpaid workers around the world, performing repetitive tasks under precarious labor conditions,” they write in the essay, “The Exploited Labor Behind Artificial Intelligence.” One of the authors, Timnit Gebru, lost her job at Google for raising ethical concerns about AI, and now advocates for better practices and regulations to protect people. Another, Adrienne Williams, is a former Amazon delivery driver who organized in protest of unsafe conditions. They join us to discuss the hidden dangers and ethical questions surrounding AI.

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