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Artificial intelligence has become an integral part of our daily lives, but there is a grey area in its realm that is often overlooked. This area is filled with millions of humans who work in secret to train algorithms and ensure the accuracy of AI systems. These workers play a crucial role in the operation of these systems, despite remaining largely unknown to the public.

Recently, The Information reported that Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, which allows customers to simply grab items from a store shelf and walk out without having to go through a traditional checkout process, was partially reliant on the efforts of over 1,000 people in India. These workers were tasked with watching and labeling videos to ensure the accuracy of the checkouts.

This revelation highlights the often-hidden role that human workers play in AI systems. While companies may tout the capabilities of their technology, it is essential to recognize the behind-the-scenes work done by individuals who are essential to the functioning of these systems. The reliance on human intervention highlights the current limitations of AI technology and the need for continued human input to ensure its accuracy and effectiveness.

Amazon describes Just Walk Out as using “computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning” on its website but does not mention the involvement of contractors in the process. When questioned by Gizmodo, Amazon explained that these workers were annotating videos to help enhance the system’s performance.

The discovery that this small minority intervened only when necessary also shines a light on how limited AI technology currently is compared to human perception. While AI has come a long way, there are still many situations where it cannot accurately interpret or make decisions based solely on data inputs.

In conclusion, while AI continues to revolutionize industries across sectors, it remains essential not to overlook or underestimate human workers who play such vital roles behind closed doors. Their contributions are critical for ensuring that these technologies operate effectively and accurately while also highlighting areas where more advanced human input may be necessary for achieving maximum results.

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