wizards

"Whether it is Facebook’s trending topics; Amazon’s delivery of Prime orders via Alexa; or the many instant responses of bots we now receive in response to consumer activity or complaint, tasks advertised as AI-driven involve humans, working at computer screens, paid to respond to queries and requests sent to them through application programming interfaces (APIs) of crowdwork systems. The truth is, AI is as “fully-automated” as the Great and Powerful Oz was in that famous scene from the classic film, where Dorothy and friends realize that the great wizard is simply a man manically pulling levers from behind a curtain."
The humans working behind the AI curtain.

So in the end "a middle-aged mother" in Bangalore decides what e.g. a teenager in the US is allowed to post on facebook; I guess this is progress.
But I wonder if the self-driving cars of the future will also call Bangalore from time to time for advice ...

via Cosma

3 comments:

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Well, if the Wizard built all the apparatus, he was still a mighty potent wizard. Since Cosma has proven his astuteness again and again, I hate to disagree, but I think the AI is pretty real.

Lee said...

CIP,
The article is from "Harvard Business Review" and has more to do with some of the sorts of jobs AI has created so far, transparency, and workers training and rights than whether AI is real or not.

I'm not sure from your comment if you're thinking humans are the potent wizard or if AI is the potent wizard.

wolfgang said...

CIP,

there is no doubt that AI made a lot of progress in recent years. I had the pleasure, about a month ago, to talk to some of the real experts and I am well aware that this is yet another revolution happening right now...

But the article is mostly about the jobs that were already created and will be created over the next decades to handle the shortcomings of current technology...

Lee,

what I find frightening to some extent is that important questions, e.g. what kind of speech is acceptable on social media, is outsourced to some extent to unskilled workers in low cost countries. It seems that some of the important software platforms are hacked together without really thinking through every aspect - as usual.

I think it is hilarious to imagine that the US president posts something on twitter and perhaps some contractor in India gets to decide if he is using "bad words".
It is even more hilarious that some prefer an "unbiased" AI bot doing the job ...