OpenAI, the company behind the very successful and popular AI tool ChatGPT has one secret hidden beneath its grand popularity, and it’s not as good as one might think: it’s low-wage contract workers.
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The money OpenAI earns doesn’t flow well into the workers hired to trained their AI, which is the source of their money. For those unaware, for an AI program to work, there needs to be people making sure it keeps trained. These contract workers now revealed to NBC News that for others up the corporate ladder, keeping these computer models “trained” is very much grunt work. According to 34-year-old Kansas City denizen and OpenAI contractor Alexej Savreux, their job consists of labeling photos, writing predictions for the AI, and other things that can help the AI to generate responses better. “You can design all the neural networks you want, you can get all the researchers involved you want, but without labelers, you have no ChatGPT,” he said. “You have nothing.”
While this kind of work is low-wage, uninsured, and usually on a contract basis, employees are usually thankful for the extra gig. Savreaux shared that his work-from-home AI training gig brought him $15 per hour, which is above Missouri’s $12 minimum wage and pulled him out of homelessness. “People sometimes minimize these necessary, laborious jobs,” he said. “It’s the necessary, entry-level area of machine learning.”
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