Giacomo Nanni

Department: Information Design

Unconscious Teachers

What: An interactive database revealing how workers are exploited in training Western imagerecognition systems.

Why: Artificial intelligence is not automatic. Computers need people to teach them. The people hired to tag images are sourced as underpaid labour in countries such as India. This project aims to increase awareness of the human cost of AI.

How: A vast hidden workforce is made visible by mapping the locations of workers who tag images for Microsoft COCO, a dataset collected from Flickr and used in machine learning. The project highlights the chasm between the foreign workforce and the Western image content.

“The way work is outsourced for machine learning amounts to digital slavery”

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Ronald Smits