Lawmakers including Jayapal raises question over underpaid, overworked data workers

Washington: Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and other lawmakers Sept 13 wrote to nine of the nation’s leading companies developing and deploying artificial intelligence (AI) technology—Google, OpenAI, Anthropic, Meta, Microsoft, Amazon, Inflection AI, Scale AI, and IBM—to call on them to answer for the working conditions of their data workers, laborers who are often paid low wages and provided no benefits but keep AI products online by completing tasks such as labeling training data and rating chatbot responses for accuracy and safety.


Several of those CEOs are joining the first of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) “Insight Forums” on AI safety and governance today, including Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Anthropic cofounder Jack Clark, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, and IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.

“Despite the essential nature of this work, millions of data workers around the world perform these stressful tasks under constant surveillance, with low wages and no benefits,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter.

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representatives Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Katie Porter (CA-47), and Mark Pocan (WI-02) signed the letter.

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