Google AI Contractors Face Unfair Labor Conditions and Growing Concerns

– Thousands of outsourced contract workers hired by Google are allegedly underpaid, overworked, and fearful of company retaliation.

– According to a Bloomberg report, these workers are paid as little as $14 an hour to review Google Bard's responses at high speeds, aiming to improve the AI program's accuracy and consistency.

– Labor conditions have become more frantic as Big Tech companies engage in an "AI arms race."

– Contractors have shared internal training documents that highlight Google's complex instructions for handling and assessing Bard responses.

– Some instructions reveal that the answers generated by the AI may misrepresent information or provide additional information not found in the evidence.

– Workers often have as little as three minutes to issue their responses, and they are expected to grade Bard's answers based on their current knowledge or quick web searches, without performing rigorous fact-checking.

– The guidelines sometimes involve high-stakes subjects that the workers are not necessarily equipped to assess quickly, such as determining the helpfulness and accuracy of Bard's dosage recommendations for medications.

– Contractors describe feeling scared, stressed, and underpaid, lacking clarity about ongoing processes and developments.

– Google's drive to keep up with competitors like OpenAI and Meta has contributed to the culture of fear and impacted the quality and teamwork among contractors.

– Similar unfair contractor conditions have been reported in the case of OpenAI content moderators in Kenya, who were exposed to toxic textual inputs for less than $2 per hour.

– Google's contractors are expected to quickly assess and parse information that is also under legal scrutiny, as the company faces multiple class action lawsuits alleging copyright infringement and potentially illegal data scraping.