ChatGPT is one of the most popular AI chatbots in the world, with over 100 million monthly users who interact with it for fun, entertainment, and education. But what many users don’t know is that ChatGPT relies on a hidden army of human workers who help train the machine learning systems that power the chatbot.Embed from Getty Images
NBC News revealed that OpenAI, the startup that created ChatGPT, has been paying over a thousand U.S. contractors $15 an hour with no benefits to label data and improve the chatbot’s accuracy. Data labeling is the process of tagging data samples to help automated systems better identify and respond to user requests.
“We are grunt workers, but there would be no AI language systems without it,” one worker, Alexej Savreux, told NBC. “You can design all the neural networks you want, but without labelers, you have no ChatGPT.”
The workers are not only underpaid, but also exposed to harmful content submitted by users to ChatGPT, such as descriptions of murder, torture, sexual violence, and incest. They have to filter out such content and flag it as inappropriate for the chatbot.
“It was really hard,” said another worker, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job. “I had nightmares about it.”
In a statement, an OpenAI said that this work contributed to efforts to remove toxic data from the training datasets of tools like ChatGPT. “Our mission is to ensure artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity, and we work hard to build safe and useful AI systems that limit bias and harmful content,” the spokesperson said. “Classifying and filtering harmful [text and images] is a necessary step in minimizing the amount of violent and sexual content included in training data and creating tools that can detect harmful content.”
But some critics say that OpenAI is exploiting its workers and not giving them enough recognition or compensation for their vital role in developing ChatGPT. They also question the ethics and transparency of using human labor to power an AI service that is marketed as fully automated.Embed from Getty Images
“They’re impressive, but ChatGPT and other generative models are not magic – they rely on massive supply chains of human labor and scraped data, much of which is unattributed and used without consent,” Andrew Strait, an AI ethicist, recently wrote on Twitter. “These are serious, foundational problems that I do not see OpenAI addressing.”
- ChatGPT is powered by a hidden army of contractors making $15 per hour | TechSpot | May 8, 2023
- Human Contractors Powering ChatGPT Get $15 Per Hour | PhoneWorld | May 9, 2023
- ChatGPT Is Powered by Human Contractors Paid $15 Per Hour | Gizmodo | May 8, 2023
- Exclusive: OpenAI Used Kenyan Workers on Less Than $2 Per Hour to Make ChatGPT Less Toxic | Time | JANUARY 18, 2023