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Empowering AI Data Labeling: Global Payments and Access to New Markets

Santiago Coates

February, 20, 2024

6 min. reading

The data labeling and collection industry is experiencing significant growth, driven by the increasing number of digital workers who find in this activity a way to generate income by training artificial intelligence (AI) models.

In addition to this, the global economic landscape is undergoing rapid transformation, marked by a 47% increase in the establishment of small businesses and the expansion of international activities, a phenomenon fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This dynamism facilitates unprecedented transactions across borders, opening new avenues for cooperation and global economic growth. In this context, a unique opportunity emerges for companies in the AI ​​sector: the exploration of emerging markets, especially in the global south. Labor costs in these regions are significantly lower, ranging from 20% to 70% or even more in some cases, compared to the West, according to reports from organizations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and various economic studies.

This undeniable competitive advantage makes expansion into these emerging markets a clear strategic decision for companies seeking to maximize their efficiency and global reach. However, entering these emerging markets is not without challenges, which require a deep understanding of local dynamics and strategic adaptation to overcome existing barriers and fully capitalize on available opportunities.

It is in this context that the case of ScaleAI arises, a platform that connects over 240,000 digital workers with job opportunities related to data labeling and collection.

The Potential of the Data Labeling Industry

The AI data labeling industry is driven by a growing need for high-quality data.

This drive has led to a global network of remote workers responsible for data labeling and collection. Airtm, known for its cross-border payment capabilities and strong Airners community, occupies a unique position to support this burgeoning industry.

The AI labeling sector is projected to reach a sum of USD 62.35 billion by the year 2027, highlighting a significant growth trajectory within the industry.

This sector relies on digital workers, many of whom are in emerging markets such as Kenya, the Philippines, India, or Venezuela. The number of workers is estimated to be “millions” with the potential to become “billions”.

Growth is inevitable for an industry in constant expansion. AI not only represents a crucial significant technological advancement for development but also indicates a global shift towards online work and a digital economy. Furthermore, the digital labor market is estimated to grow from USD 1.7 trillion to 5.5 trillion by 2030.

This trend presents a significant opportunity for the workforce, especially in the global south and the mentioned countries.

Challenges for Users Impacting Companies

One of the main difficulties for digital workers lies in the complexity of withdrawing in local currency, which can demotivate them and be detrimental to companies in the sector. Currently, this process is complicated and may discourage platform users.

Imagine a scenario where a digital worker completes a week of tasks and needs to withdraw funds in their local currency. What other incentives will the worker have to continue performing labeling tasks if they cannot materialize? Or how would a user feel if, after working hard for hours, they lose up to 20% in fees when withdrawing money to local currency?

Airtm offers a comprehensive solution to this problem. Fully committed to the growth of the AI industry, Airtm facilitates fund withdrawals in local currency, providing invaluable support for both digital workers and companies in the sector.

ScaleAI has found in Airtm a strategic partner, not only to enable its users to withdraw funds in their local currency more easily but also for ScaleAI to have the opportunity to access the millions of digital entrepreneurs who currently use Airtm.

Airtm, Solution for Users and Opportunity for Companies

ScaleAI, a platform that offers the possibility of working from home performing a variety of tasks online, faced the challenge of quickly onboarding a large number of digital workers for a new project in 2021.

For this, they found in Airtm more than just a payment solution. “We realized that there was a great opportunity to access new markets in emerging economies, but we were missing out on it due to not having adequate solutions,” says a representative of ScaleAI. “In Airtm, we not only found a solution for our users but also access to a huge community of digital entrepreneurs willing to work on our platform.”

“We supported ScaleAI in growing their community through various types of growth campaigns, including ambassador/influencer initiatives, social media campaigns, email communications, and more,” indicates Mila, Accounts Management Director at Airtm. 

The results were remarkable: there was a 62% growth in the number of transactions and a 600% increase in volume between 2022 and 2023. Additionally, the community grew by more than 30% during 2022. Digital workers were able to perform transactions simultaneously in 150 countries.

Country Fees for converting to local currency (%) Average Time to convert to local currency (min)
KEN 3.7% 7
IND 1.4% 4
VEN 3% 6
BDG 2.8% 4
EGY 2% 10
PHL 2.1% 10
PAK 2.5% 3
NGA 2.6% 9
ARG 2.3% 4

“According to a recent survey we conducted among our community members, over 55% of them are active users of ScaleAI. This demonstrates the real impact that this collaboration has had on our community and the lives of our digital workers,” concludes Gil, Airtm’s sales director.

Airtm’s exclusive range of services goes beyond typical financial transactions. Airtm’s network of digital entrepreneurs can be incorporated as workers for AI labeling projects, providing a scalable and flexible workforce solution for the industry.

Furthermore, Airtm’s role in facilitating efficient and secure cross-border transactions makes it an ideal partner for AI labeling companies with international operations.

Industry Ready

Airtm is perfectly positioned to play a significant role in the burgeoning AI data collection and labeling industry.

With its global reach, cross-border payment capabilities, and ability to provide a large workforce for AI labeling projects, Airtm can drive innovation and efficiency in this rapidly growing sector.

As the demand for data labeling continues to increase, Airtm is ready to face this challenge and seize the opportunity to contribute to technological advancements in AI.

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