AI-driven ecosystem shifts in a rural, developing contexts
New developments in AI have brought shifts throughout the demand chain in the world of digital work. Behind the skyrocketing craze for generative AI chatbots lies an equally demanding need for training data sets. One of the components determining how effectively a machine can learn is the very important (and very human!) feedback within the process, telling a model ‘yes’ or ‘no’ until it can recognize patterns, images, text, and other rules all on its own. This has broadened work opportunities for image annotators, a skill covered in Konexio’s DIP.
Blazing a pathway from zero skills to digital jobs
Focused on skills rather than certificates, the DIP ensures a high-quality, diverse workforce ready to meet the demands of the digital age. According to a 2019 survey, only 3.5% of the population had completed tertiary education. The DIP requires 0 experience to apply, lowering all barriers to entry and opening a pathway for those most excluded from digital education opportunities. This links highly vulnerable students to a growing digital economy, able to be accessed using a computer and the internet from anywhere in the world.
The DIP has identified image annotation tasks as an ideal entry point for its students to gain skills and work experience in the digital marketplace. Many DIP students have gotten their start as image annotators on platforms like Remotasks. As this site offers tasks of varying difficulty, students can grow their portfolio of work and become better acquainted with how they can level-up their freelancing capabilities.
A burgeoning partnership
Konexio works closely with company employers like Appen to update its DIP curriculum with in-demand freelance skills. This process is rigorous and continuous as the tech sector is constantly innovating! Through these private sector partnerships, Konexio receives insight into tech trends and facilitates exclusive job contracts for its students.
Late last year, Appen provided our students data annotation training. Those who successfully learn to implement this skills set will have the opportunity of receiving a job contract with the company. So far, two students at our Kakuma site have received job contracts, with the rest not far behind!
“One thing about the Appen contract is that there are always tasks available for the students,” says Juma, Konexio’s Kakuma ICT trainer. “The projects are there, and the students are busy working on those projects. And also they are paid, and it pays well.”
This partnership offers a win-win-win for all stakeholders involved: Konexio receives up-to-date market knowledge informing its curriculum, students get exclusive training and job opportunities, and Appen hires a skilled workforce specifically trained to conduct tasks necessary to their mission!
In 2023, the market value for the online global gig economy reached $455 billion, with compounding growth potential. Through these kinds of projects, our students have a chance to become more acquainted with online work, build up a portfolio and begin to earn a sustainable income. We are proud of our students for taking these key steps towards achieving self-reliance.