AMRO2024: Unknown Label

The exhibition is part of AMRO2024 – Art Meets Radical Openness Festival.

Exhibition Opening: Tuesday, May 7th, 6:30 pm (welcoming words at 8 pm)

Artist Guided Tour: Thursday, May 9th, 5 pm

Opening Hours: May 8th – 24th
Wednesday – Friday, 3 – 6 pm
or individual appointments

In 2018, leading car manufacturers, taken aback by the advents of Google and Tesla, invested a lot of money in research on autonomous vehicles. They gathered an immense amount of images taken by their cars that they needed to process in order to train their algorithms. This process, called „image segmentation“, consists of manually outlining and labeling elements of interest in the image. It is very labour intensive and still cannot be automatised, it is thus outsourced to online microworkers from the Global South. 

Unknown Label explores the daily reality of online micro-workers from Venezuela, Kenya, and The Philippines who annotate images for self-driving cars. It investigates the power asymmetries and neocolonialist exploitation involved in the human labour necessary to train AI systems, but also the many micro-gestures of resistance that workers share on private groups. 

The exhibition reveals the hidden people that help shape how machines see the world, as well as the categories used to encapsulate our world and make it accessible to the machines, thus asking questions about the politics of these categories and to what extent they in turn affect the world we live in.

This work was realized within the framework of a European Media Art Platform residency at werkleitz, co-funded by the European Union. This presentation was co-funded by Ars Electronica.