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Africa Needs a Seat at the Table when it Comes to the Development of AI

A firm which was contracted to moderate Facebook posts in East Africa has said with hindsight it should not have taken on the job. Former Kenya-based employees of Sama – an outsourcing company – have said they were traumatised by exposure to graphic posts. Some are now taking legal cases against the firm through the Kenyan courts. Some former employees have described being traumatised after viewing videos of beheadings, suicide and other graphic material at the moderation hub, which the firm ran from 2019. Chief executive Wendy Gonzalez said Sama would no longer take work involving moderating harmful content. Ms Gonzalez told the BBC that the work – which never represented more than 4% of the firm’s business – was a contract she would not take again. Sama announced it would end it in January. Sama is an unusual outsourcing firm. From the beginning its avowed mission was to lift people out of poverty by providing digital skills and an income doing outsourced computing tasks for technology firms.