November 5, 2018
Silicon Valley has finally caught up to the fact that they don’t need to create stuff from scratch. They can just outsource difficult jobs to experts in Wakanda.
When Artificial Intelligence works as intended, Silicon Valley types often say it’s “like magic”.
But it isn’t magic. It’s Brenda, a 26-year-old single mother who lives Kibera, Africa’s largest slum, and perhaps the toughest neighbourhood on earth, where hundreds of thousands of people live in a space not too much bigger than London’s Hyde Park.
“It’s not magic, it’s Brenda.”
Brenda sounds like some kind of genius mutant nigger that designs artificial intelligence. This should be exciting.
Let’s find out.
In her eight-hour shift, she creates training data. Information – images, most often – prepared in a way that computers can understand.
Brenda loads up an image, and then uses the mouse to trace around just about everything. People, cars, road signs, lane markings – even the sky, specifying whether it’s cloudy or bright. Ingesting millions of these images into an artificial intelligence system means a self-driving car, to use one example, can begin to “recognise” those objects in the real world. The more data, the supposedly smarter the machine.
“What are Africans good for?” is the question that has been on the back of everyone’s mind since African slaves stopped picking cotton.
We may have found a temporary answer.
African slaves will be the mommy birds of AI, doing the predigestion of information to feed it.
They have some basic brain functions such as identifying colors, objects, and performing a clicking motion with their hands, that could still prove useful. The company here appears to have picked up on that. and returned to these creatures the only benign purpose they ever had: service to a superior intelligence.
So, no. Brenda is not a genius mutant nigger.
Brenda does this work for Samasource, a San Francisco-based company that counts Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and Yahoo among its clients. Most of these firms don’t like to discuss the exact nature of their work with Samasource – as it is often for future projects – but it can be said that the information prepared here forms a crucial part of some of Silicon Valley’s biggest and most famous efforts in AI.
These are Samasource supporters:
It’s the kind of technological progress that will likely never be felt in a place like Kibera. As Africa’s largest slum, it has more pressing problems to solve, such as a lack of reliable clean water, and a well-known sanitation crisis.
Whoa, that’s very racist of you, BBC. I mean, it’s true, but you can’t just go around telling your readers that it’s pointless.
Are you just going to start printing front page nigger jokes, and steal our entire business model?
But that’s not to say artificial intelligence can’t have a positive impact here. We drove to one of Kibera’s few permanent buildings, found near a railway line that, on this rainy day, looked thoroughly decommissioned by mud, but has apparently been in regular use since its colonial inception.
Almost exactly a year ago, this building was the dividing line between stone-throwing rioters and the military. Today, it’s a thriving hub of activity: a media school and studio, something of a cafeteria, and on the first floor, a room full of PCs. Here, Gideon Ngeno teaches around 25 students the basics of using a personal computer.
The region is so unstable that niggers don’t know if they’ll wake up to a war zone or a cyber-cafe – but that’s a good thing, you know? It keeps life exciting.
Most impressively, Samasource has overcome a problem that most Silicon Valley firms are famously grappling with. Just over half of their workforce is made up of women, a remarkable feat in a country where starting a family more often than not rules out a career for the mother. Here, a lactation room, up to 90 days maternity leave, and flexibility around shift patterns makes the firm a stand-out example of inclusivity not just in Kenya, but globally.
“Like a lot of people say, if you have a man in the workplace, he’ll support his family,” said Hellen Savala, who runs human resources.
“[But] if you have a woman in the workplace, she’ll support her family, and the extended family. So you’ll have a lot more impact.”
That is absolutely impressive top-level misogyny.
Hire women that support their family and extended family, so they have more people under their care and thus feel more pressure to comply to whatever work conditions you set for them.
There’s also a serious reflection on female loyalty in there, somewhere.
That balance isn’t just among those doing the entry level work, either. In San Francisco’s Mission District, in an office far more modest than what the firm has in Kenya, Samasource’s chief executive Leila Janah beamed when talking about how the firm’s management team is majority female.
“It’s extremely unusual in Silicon Valley more broadly, but especially within artificial intelligence.
“We just think of it as normal. It’s a competitive advantage.”
Leila Janah is the dark one.
Notice how the firm’s management team is mostly female. The people actually doing artificial intelligence work are men.
Samasource targets those currently earning around $2 a day, or less, in the so-called informal economy of odd – or dangerous – jobs. Samasource instead provides a living wage of around $9 a day. That’s an improvement, but still a pittance for Silicon Valley.
Why pay Americans a fair wage for their jobs when you could just enslave some Africans and generate mad profit amirite?
“Yes, it’s cost effective,” Janah said. “But one thing that’s critical in our line of work is to not pay wages that would distort local labour markets. If we were to pay people substantially more than that, we would throw everything off. That would have a potentially negative impact on the cost of housing, the cost of food in the communities in which our workers thrive.”
Uh… thrive may not be the best word to use when talking about Africa.
This is Kibera, the place where Brenda lives:
Being a data training expect is boring, repetitive, never-ending work.
Now, and always.
And when not in front of our cameras, some staff talked about how they faced pressure to work quickly in order to hit company targets,leading to fewer breaks. Some Samasource workers are freelancers who can work anywhere, but with a webcam watching them as they work.
Yeah, you need to make sure your slaves are working.
Africans, without some kind of supervision from a higher life form, revert back to cannibalism, rape, killing, and other customs from their rich culture. Sure, that’s very enriching, but not very productive in a workplace environment.
None of the staff we saw at the office had any kind of acceptable ergonomic support, often crouching over, clicking away furiously, for hours on end – a certain strain to eyes and body. The company has said it would work on that.
Slavery conditions. That is great.
This is proof that even in this day and age, when cotton-picking is already a solved problem, niggers are not yet obsolete. We can still profit from them.
After we’ve confiscated Google, we should invade Africa and build giant tent camps there to harvest nigger slave labor on an industrial scale. We’ll make them fill out CAPTCHAs and perform other repetitive tasks that will feed our AI until it has fully assimilated the nigger functions and is up to their intelligence level. Because, let’s face it – current AI is dumber than niggers in certain ways, like being able to describe visual and audio information.
Once we have fully assimilated nigger intelligence into AI, we can finally exterminate them.
There’ll be no further use for them.
Samasource is putting colonialism and slavery back to the service of white people, and we fully support it.