artificial intelligence

#EyeOnAI: The AI money rush, $15 per hour AI trainers, writers vs machines

Gelo Gonzales

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#EyeOnAI: The AI money rush, $15 per hour AI trainers, writers vs machines


In 2018, venture capital investment towards AI projects totaled $408 million. It grew to $4.5 billion in 2022, and is expected to be several times bigger in 2023.

MANILA, Philippines – AI this, AI that. It can be overwhelming to keep up with news on the tech as it rides a massive wave of both hype, and real, potentially society-altering possibilities.

Here on #EyeOnAI, we give you a quick rundown on the top developments on the tech that give us a glimpse of where it’s headed. 

AI gold rush: Investment to be several times last year’s level of $4.5 billion

The Wall Street Journal reports on the massive amount of venture capital that’s going into AI startups this year. 

Investment numbers have grown from $408 million total in 2018, the year that OpenAI released the first version of GPT, to $4.5 billion in 2022. With Microsoft’s $10 billion infusion in OpenAI in January 2023, 2022 numbers have already doubled. 

Amid the investment splurge, a new AI hub in San Francisco has sprouted called Cerebral Valley, with venture capitalists hosting parties to court the startups.   

But an AI investor warns that all of it “feels like the gold rush” and the market will not be able to sustain “a million different companies with half-baked ideas” as in prior hype cycles. 

OpenAI’s new tool: AI-generated 3D printing models

Another day, another AI tool? ChatGPT maker OpenAI has a new AI tool out that generates 3D models from text, which can be converted for use by 3D printers, Tom’s Hardware reports

It’s available on GitHub for free, but as the article’s writer warns, it’s tough to get the program to run, taking him 8 hours to get it running. Visit the article link to see how he did it, if you’re interested. 

$15 per hour contract workers who train OpenAI’s AI

NBC News got to talk to two contract workers for OpenAI’s ChatGPT who are part of what the site describes as “a hidden army of contract workers who have been doing the behind-the-scenes labor of teaching AI systems.” 

What the article reveals is the unheralded workforce, under $15 per hour contracts and with no benefits, that sits face to face with the technology to “improve the accuracy of AI,” teaching the technology to make better responses.

They label photos for the AI to read, teach it with sentences, and provide other information as training data.

“We are grunt workers, but there would be no AI language systems without it,” Alexej Savreux, one of the contract workers said. 

Hollywood writers vs AI

The Writers Guild of America is on strike, and one of the issues is specifically about AI. 

Reuters quoted screenwriter and WGA negotiating committee member, John August, on the two complaints by writers on AI: “We don’t want our material feeding them, and we also don’t want to be fixing their sloppy first drafts.” 

Ars Technica expounds on the first point: Writers who polish first drafts are paid less, and that’s why writers don’t want ChatGPT-generated content to be considered as a first draft or “source material” or “literary material.” 

WGA chief negotiator Ellen Stutzman has also said that some members have called AI as plagiarism machines. The guild does not want existing scripts to be used as training data for AI, echoing a similar battlecry for visual artists. 

IBM stops hiring for about 7,800 jobs that may be done by AI 

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, in perhaps one of the most forthright statements coming from a major company on the effects of AI on jobs, told Bloomberg (paywall) and picked up by India Times, the huge number of jobs that the company has paused hiring for because these could be replaced by AI.

Krishna said that about 30% of non-customer-facing jobs could be replaced by AI in the next five years. Roles in human resources and other back-office functions may be the most affected by hiring freeze. –

1 comment

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  1. JM

    AI bots are coming for your call center jobs. This will be very bad for the Philippines.

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.