Three cheers for Amazon's human eavesdroppers

Behind the hype about AI's neural networks, an army of low-paid humans is still needed for it to work.

Alexa, are you really a human?

The revelation this week that a large team of Amazon employees listens to conversations recorded by the company's digital assistant has exposed the contrast between the hype of artificial intelligence and the reality of the armies of underpaid humans that make the technology work in real life.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2019, with the headline 'Three cheers for Amazon's human eavesdroppers'. Print Edition | Subscribe