max_read + labor   6

Why you need to improve your training data, and how to do it « Pete Warden's blog
The biggest difference between building models for research and production is that research usually has a clear problem statement defined at the start, but the requirements for real applications are locked inside users heads and can only be extracted over time. For example, for Jetpac we wanted to find good photos to show in automated travel guides for cities. We started off asking raters to label a photo if they considered it “Good”, but we ended up with lots of pictures of smiling people, since that’s how they interpreted the question. We put these into a mockup of the product to see how test users reacted, and they weren’t impressed, they weren’t inspirational. To tackle that, we refined the question to “Would this photo make you want to travel to the place it shows?”. This got us content that was a lot better, but it turned out that we were using workers in south-east asia who thought that conference photos looked amazing, full of people with suits and glasses of wine in large hotels. This mismatch was a sobering reminder of the bubble we live in, but it was also a practical problem because our target audience in the US saw conference photos as depressing and non-aspirational. In the end, the six of us on the Jetpac team manually rated over two million photos ourselves, since we knew the criteria better than anyone we could train.
ai  data  ml  labor  outsourcing  photos  tech 
10 weeks ago by max_read
Banks As Socialist Collectives - Bloomberg - Matt Levine
If a company pays workers a medium (or, sure, large) amount of money in mediocre years, and vastly more money in great years, then that is I think a decent sign that it is run partially for the benefit of the workers—that the workers think of themselves as residual claimants on the firm, entitled to help themselves out of the profits in good years. (Of course in bad years the employees still get paid—still get bonuses, even—so it is not a perfect measure.) A Residual Marx Ratio that tracks, say,...
capitalism  socialism  marx  banks  finance  economics  labor 
12 weeks ago by max_read
The Job Guarantee and the Wilted Liberal Imagination
If you browse Living New Deal, you’ll see that they were undertaking this level of public spending in hundreds of cities at once. They came up with plans, hired many millions of unemployed people, distributed grants, and did the work. Productive public employment and work at a mass scale is not some theoretical impossibility dreamt up by goofy leftists: It all already happened. Government had the capacity to do this 80 years ago.
JG  economy  jobs  labor  newdeal 
may 2018 by max_read
Silicon Inquiry // Notes From Below
What’s especially dangerous about the glorification of the brilliant technical worker is how it obscures the very real exploitation going on beneath the surface. These highly-paid technical employees, producing intellectual property, find their dialectical opposite in the low-paid employees who provide the material foundations for the company’s success. Similar to how women’s domestic work was (and still often is) invisible, this work is often done by contractors working under punishing conditions. Facebook has its army of moderators in the Philippines; Apple has its assemblers at Foxconn; Uber has its drivers; Deliveroo has its riders; Amazon has its warehouse workers. And all of these tech companies have the staff that directly caters to the highly-paid employees: cleaners, chefs, baristas, security guards.
labor  tech  technology  from instapaper
march 2018 by max_read
The United States of Work | New Republic
For Anderson, the latter point is essential; the notion of lifelong employment under a boss was anathema to these earlier visions of personal freedom. Writing in the 1770s, Smith assumes that independent actors in his market society will be self-employed, and uses butchers and bakers as his exemplars; his “pin factory,” meant to illustrate division of labor, employs only ten people. These thinkers could not envision a world in which most workers spend most of their lives performing wage labor under a single employer. In an address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in 1859, Lincoln stated, “The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him.” In other words, even well into the nineteenth century, defenders of an unregulated market society viewed wage labor as a temporary stage on the way to becoming a proprietor.
work  labor  politics  contracts  from instapaper
april 2017 by max_read

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