Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Venezuelans Teaching Your Self-Driving Car

Most people, when they think about the shiny self-driving cars of the (near?) future don’t think about Venezuelans, living in crisis conditions after their economy collapsed, sitting at laptops and outlining pictures of trees and bikes so that the robotic vehicles don’t crash.

That was the situation in 2018, according to Florian A. Schmidt, a crowdwork expert and professor of design at HTW Dresden. “You have these formerly middle-class, well-educated, well-connected people with good internet infrastructure who suddenly dropped into poverty,” says Schmidt, who wrote a paper on this new labor market for the Hans Böckler Foundation, a research arm of the German trade union federation. (The paper was released in English this week.)

Desperate for work, Venezuelans came across a new group of online crowdworking platforms. These companies—including Mighty AI, Playment, Hive, and Scale—cater to the autonomous-vehicle industry and could be a new battleground in the debate over whether gig workers should be considered employees.

Hundreds of thousands of workers from Venezuela signed up to work for these companies last year, in some cases making up as much as 75% of a firm’s workforce. Even today, 75% of search traffic to Mighty AI comes from a site advertising jobs in Venezuela. The companies don’t pay more for data labeling than a platform like Amazon Mechanical Turk, but they do offer a steadier source of income, providing a measure of security for those in a country where inflation recently hit 10 million percent. (Mighty AI did not respond to a request for comment.)

This kind of human object recognition for computers was presaged in Harry Harrison's 1956 short story The Velvet Glove:

"... whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window. You give it a good look, check the list for the proper category if you're not sure, then press the right button and in she goes."

An hour passed before he had his first identification to make. A robot stopped in mid-dump, ground its gears a moment, and then dropped a dead cat into Carl's hopper... Something heavy had dropped on the cat, reducing the lower part of its body to paper-thinness.

Castings... Cast Iron... Cats... There was the bin number. Nine.

Consider also the Ava learning software from The Calcutta Chromosome, a 1995 novel by Amitav Ghosh. In the story, Ava is an artificial intelligence program that has human help in identifying objects:

Antar had met children who were like that: Why? What? When? Where? How? But children asked because they were curious; with these AVA/Iie systems it was something else - something that he could only think of as a simulated urge for self-improvement. ..

She wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew about whatever it was that she was playing with on her screen…

TechnologyReview.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/25/2019)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Artificial Intelligence ")

Facebook's Algorithmic News Feed Knows Better Than You Do
'Their playmates were not “real,” but they were a lot realer than, say, a Betsy-Wetsy doll.' John Brunner, 1966.

Your Car Will Be Watching You!
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive...' - Philip K. Dick, 1963

AI4Mars Wants Your Help Driving On Mars
'She wouldn't stop until Antar had told her everything he knew..' - Amitav Ghosh, 1995.

Hundreds Of Covid-Catching AI Tools - None Help
'Plagues had been known to slay too rapidly and universally to be checked by human treatment.' Katherine MacLean, 1950.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Star Trek Voyager Replica Tricorder And Galaxy Quest
'They designed those controls after watching you...take her out!'

Rolls Royce Electric Airplane Breaks Records
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Chang'e-5 Lunar Lander Seeks Water
'... get out the solar power apparatus and send it down to us from the air-lock by the crane.'

I Really Want A Folding Computer
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

A Kill Switch For Your Car?
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...'

Scientifiction, Searchlight of Science
'And science goes on, with scientifiction as its searchlight.'

Wearable Biomedical Sensors Printed Directly On Your Skin
'The dragon is a skin computer... People put it on their arms and exchange personal data.'

Artificial, Implantable Kidney Prototype
'George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'

Ultra-short Pulse Laser Kills Bacteria In Vivo
'...coherent beams at precise wave-lengths passing through her flesh to zap foreign molecules within her body.'

Bioprint Prototype Handheld Bioprinter
'He turned the little art-derm nozzle...'

Betty Crocker, The First Company Avatar
'After six months of surgery and psycho-conditioning, he was identical with the other 496 Mr. Prestos...'

Augmented Reality Book Covers Reveal The Inner Book
'The E-paper holograms leaped from lurid covers...'

The First Multi-User Hologram Table?
Let the Wookiee win.

Apollo 8 Astronauts Pass The Equigravisphere
'... divers other objects, firearms and bottles, abandoned to themselves, held themselves up as by enchantment.'

Stellar Pizza Is A Pizza Robot That Comes To You
'No hand touched the food...'

Yamaha MOTOROiD Living Motorcycle Experiment
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.