Now Hiring: Sophisticated (but Part-Time) Chatbot Tutors

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After her second child was born, Chelsea Becker took an unpaid, yearlong leave from her full-time job as a flight attendant. After watching a video on TikTok, she found a side hustle: training artificial intelligence models for a website called Data Annotation Tech.

For a few hours every day, Ms. Becker, 33, who lives in Schwenksville, Pa., would sit at her laptop and interact with an A.I.-powered chatbot. For every hour of work, she was paid $20 to $40. From December to March, she made over $10,000.

The boom in A.I. technology has put a more sophisticated spin on a kind of gig work that doesn’t require leaving the house. The growth of large language models like the technology powering OpenAI’s ChatGPT has fueled the need for trainers like Ms. Becker, fluent English speakers who can produce quality writing.

It is not a secret that A.I. models learn from humans. For years, makers of A.I. systems like Google and OpenAI have relied on low-paid workers, typically contractors employed through other companies, to help computers visually identify subjects. (The New York Times has sued OpenAI and its partner, Microsoft, on claims of copyright infringement.) They might label vehicles and pedestrians for self-driving cars or identify images on photos used to train A.I. systems.

But as A.I. technology has become more sophisticated, so has the job of people who must painstakingly teach it. Yesterday’s photo tagger is today’s essay writer.

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