Revealed: ChatGPT paid Kenyan employees Ksh250 per hour to moderate content


For avid tech gurus and social media users, you may have come across ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence-based extension that generates text from any genre in seconds.

The AI-based platform has essentially become an instant hit in the online fraternity, with many experts hailing it as the future of technology and then a software that could potentially replace content writers.

However, an investigation by Global Media House, Timerevealed that ChatGPT outsourced Kenyan workers, who were earning less than Ksh250 per hour.

File image of TBEN using smartphones

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The workers reportedly came from Sama, a content moderation company in the US that hires TBEN, Ugandans and Indians to moderate content for leading online platforms such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google. TBEN were required to manually sift through the deluge of datasets during a nine-hour shift.

“An agent working nine-hour shifts could expect to earn a total of at least Ksh160 ($1.32) per hour after tax, rising to Ksh178 ($1.44) per hour if they exceeded all their targets, read part of the report of.

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On the other hand, Quality Analysts, who are considered more senior labelers whose job was to check the work of the agents, could pocket Ksh250 ($2 per hour) after achieving all their targets.

Part of the job for the Kenyan workers also included labeling 70 passages of text within a shift – which presented a great job opportunity.

Nevertheless, the report also exposed the dangerous conditions under which the TBEN worked.

“Despite the fundamental role these data enrichment professionals play, a growing body of research reveals the precarious working conditions these workers face,”

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According to the report, this included classifying and filtering malicious content, including sifting through hours of toxic multimedia content and labeling it.

The nature of the work eventually led Sama to terminate the contract with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT. Recently, Sama also announced the end of its collaboration with Meta and the release of more than 200 employees.


The Sama office in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday, February 10, 2022.