Google order its secretive "raters'" hours cut, so now they're going public


I think that’s how it’s likely to work here, too, in the sense that the idea is something along the lines of “If you don’t work, you’ll still have a home and your staples. If you aspire to more than that, find work.”

The reality here is very different, though, with strong labour laws and an $11.40/hr minimum wage.

There’s a whole other issue I didn’t even discuss - a lot of these jobs only exist because they’re currently cheaper than replacing them with robotics or spending more money on refining algorithms. When that’s no longer the case the new problem is going to be what to do when there are less jobs than people.


Nothing new about that problem…

It’s been the central social problem for every nation that has passed into/through the Industrial Revolution.


The success or failure of a society’s solutions to that problem largely determine the quality of life in that culture.

The stubbornness with which a culture clings to norms formed in an economy of scarcity, even as it transitions to an economy of abundance, will largely drive income inequality and overall misery.


Yes. In the U.S., any such UBI will be accompanied by the insistence of conservatives that any minimum wage legislation will disappear along with SSI, disability, and really all other social assistance programmes. That’s before you’ll get to universal single payer healthcare like Canada’s becoming permanently banished from American political discourse.

Liberals and progressives should not imagine for a moment that a UBI in America will necessarily lead to Fully Automated Luxury Communism. A lifestyle closer to what we’re now seeing in China, albeit with less social and economic mobility, is what most Americans will see after the conservatives are through tinkering with it.


Well, for anyone who wants to see all people thrive. For the people who think the proper/best order of society is a handful of people exploiting the many, then having a hungry, competitive workforce fighting over one-too-few chairs in the game is a wage and labor control mechanism. Of course, it has to be “tuned” so that people have enough money to buy the widgets coming out the other end… funny that, the fact that “society” and “industry” might not have the same interests. You could be fooled, listening to the right…


The problem is that this then leads to Wal-Martification, where the existence of social services pushes down the amount of wages that a company is willing to pay. While I do believe in a social safety net, I prefer option #2 to #1, because #1 means that the product itself is being subsidized. If the product is essential enough that it needs to be subsidized, it should be subsidized directly, rather than through lowered wages/social assistance. If, on the other hand, the product is not so essential that it should be subsidized, then workers’ wages should be allowed to rise to a living wage, and the cost of the good or service to rise as well. Otherwise, it’s just a subsidy on the product by another name.

This is why I prefer the idea of living-wage UBI to the piecemeal social assistance that currently exists; if you get enough money to live by whether or not you do some horrible job, then horrible jobs will have to pay enough that people will want to work there.


This sounds a lot like an AI algorithm implemented with humans. Weirdly meta if they’re being used to train AI and the AI is then in turn training them.


Don’t be evil, just be corporate.
Fool the world with your own importance.


Well said :exclamation:


Why, thank you!


I did this job for a couple of months.

It wasn’t nearly as bad or as hard as the article makes out, but perhaps that’s because I was working on Japanese content. Presumably, the more applicants there are, the more competition for available work, and the stricter the evaluations. Anyway, I thought the pay was reasonable for the work involved, although it was pretty boring - I blitzed through the evaluations, alternating between evaluating and exercising in order to stay awake.

It was only ever an interim job for me though, and I wouldn’t want to do it long-term. Some of the testing was pretty arbitrary. For instance, I remember one task: A user searched for “J-pop boy bands”, and three videos were search results. Watching the videos they were all K-pop boy bands. I figured the results were “bad”, but not “worthless”, because there is crossover in popularity between J-pop and K-pop and boy bands are boy bands. So I gave each result 0.5~1 out of 5. The evaluation told me I’d made a serious mistake and should have rated each video as 0 out of 5. It’s weird trying to apply “objective” evaluation to seemingly subjective criteria.


It wasn’t even that quiet.


Gah! You’re the one! :stuck_out_tongue:

But seriously, I stopped using Google quite awhile ago because the results have gotten so shitty.

DuckDuckGo and friends aren’t the most complete, (I do fall back on Google occasionally for really obscure stuff), but I don’t need every relevant result, just one with what I’m looking for is generally enough.
Google’s results invariably have me clicking through dozens of crappy results and then tuning my search parameters outside of all reality to bend it towards utility.


You are right in that of course tenuously-related results are useless, but if I recall correctly a 0.5 rating should mean the results would be buried under dozens of pages of more relevant results. That’s why the sliding scale exists - if the rating was merely binary, 0.5 would be a 0. My point was that the test considered 0.5 to be just as wrong as a perfect 5 rating.

I’ve never used DuckDuckGo, but a colleague recommends it. Might have to give it a try, but since most of my work-related searches are highly specialised I suspect Google is the only realistic option for me.

split this topic #24

5 posts were split to a new topic: Eli Bridge Scramblers and other waonders of carney engineering


You’re missing #4: reduce the profits extracted by the owners. Which, really, should be #1.


I too have been using DuckDuckGo for a while now, and am much happier with it than Google’s crappy results


Or, tax the upper income brackets like President Eisenhower did.


Shockingly enough; the reaction to this unwelcome attention involved some spiteful retaliation and what appears to be a plan to dissolve the current operation and re-hire some of the raters(for less) under a new name.

Ugly; but hard to muster much surprise.


Not just tenuous, flat out irrelevant, like missing half my search terms irrelevant!
And after I’ve figured out what completely unrelated topic Google thinks I should be looking for then I add, subtract, multiply and divide the terms to carrot-and-stick Google’s search beast in the right general direction.

I think the main problem is that Google got too user-friendly. They’ve got these massive libraries of code analyzing people’s successive queries to try and figure out what they meant the first time so they can shortcut the query tuning process and skip straight to the “right” results.

The catch there of course is that people’s needs change from minute to minute and what may appear to be a contiguous chain of searches is really many separate events correlated only in the mind of the searcher, so I believe what they have at this point is a serious case of GIGO.

They need to throw out whatever they’ve been doing for the last few years, 'cause it ain’t working!

closed #30

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