Cash Investigation: Ghost Workers
We’re at the beginning of an artificial intelligence revolution that promises to change everything. Already, virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa have become a part of our daily life. But in order to run their applications, digital giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook employ an army of invisible labor. These are disposable workers, paid as little as 10 cents an hour to feed information into computer systems. They receive neither benefits nor a contract, and normal labor laws don’t apply to them.
And, while millions of men and women are training artificial intelligence for next to nothing in the 21st-century equivalent of the sweatshop, others are being hired and hidden out of sight to clean up social networks. One of our team members went undercover as a content moderator for Facebook to understand the work of the web cleaners, who inhabit a shady world most of us know little about.