Before and after renderings from CrowdFlower’s technology, which provides tools that enable a person to label and structure every part of a photo.
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SAN FRANCISCO: There's a dirty little secret about artificial intelligence: It's powered by hundreds of thousands of real people. From makeup artists in Venezuela to women in conservative parts of India, people around the world are doing the digital equivalent of needlework – drawing boxes around cars in street photos, tagging images and transcribing snatches of speech that computers can't quite make out.In bulk, this work can offer a decent wage in many parts of the world – even in the U.S. And it underpins a technology that could change humanity forever: AI that will drive us around, execute verbal commands without flaw, and – possibly – one day think on its own.Trevor Darrell, a machine learning expert at the University of California Berkeley, said he expects it will be five to 10 years before computer algorithms can learn to perform without the need for human labeling. His group alone spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year paying people to annotate images.
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