Crowdsourced Production of AI Training Data

Since 2017 the automotive industry has developed a high demand for ground truth data. Without this data, the goal of producing fully autonomous vehicles will remain out of reach. The self-driving car depends on self-learning algorithms, which have to undergo a lot of supervised training. This requires vast amounts of manual labour, performed by crowdworkers across the globe. As a consequence, the demand in training data is transforming the crowdsourcing industry. This study is an investigation into the dynamics of this shift and its impacts on the working conditions of the crowdworkers.

This paper is condensed version of a 70-page-long report in German, published in February 2019: Schmidt, Florian A. (2019): Crowdproduktion von Trainingsdaten. Zur Rolle von Online-Arbeit beim Trainieren autonomer Fahrzeuge. Study Nr. 415, Düsseldorf: Hans-Böckler-Stiftung. Online:


Access the Research publication

Crowdsourced Production of AI Training Data
Schmidt, Florian A. (2019), 'Crowdsourced Production of AI Training Data', Hans Böckler Stiftung working paper number 155, August 2019.


  • Research publication
  • Yes
  • professional services
  • Online client-determined specialist work, Online moderately skilled click work
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk, CrowdFlower
  • platform characteristics, work content
  • English, German
  • Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (Research institute)
  • Qualitative research
  • 2019
  • Open access
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