From the Financial Times (semi-paywalled):
Mother Jones says that Indian call centre employees:
…will earn as much as 20,000 rupees per month—around $2 per hour, or $5,000 per year if they last that long, which most will not. In a country where per-capita income is about $900 per year, a BPO salary qualifies as middle-class.
Suppose that a labelling company pays employees a 50% premium over what the call centres pay: $3/hour. If it truly takes only 8 hours to label an hour of video, then it would cost $24 to label an hour of video.
Waymo has driven around 15 million miles. At an average speed of 25 miles per hour, that’s 600,000 hours of driving. At $24 per hour, it would cost $14.4 million to annotate 600,000 hours of video. $115 million if it’s video from 8 cameras.
Waymo drives about 1 million miles (40,000 hours) per month or 12 million miles (480,000 hours) per year. Waymo is believed to spend about $1 billion per year.
This would suggest that data collection may actually be more of a bottleneck than data labelling. Especially since only a fraction of video might be considered useful or interesting and therefore be sent for labelling.
Tesla has 530,000 cars driving about 1 hour per day on average, so about 530,000 hours per day. To label all video from all cameras at $24 per hour of video would cost $37 billion per year. Obviously infeasible. Yet to annotate 6,000,000 hours of driving (3% of the annual total from 530,000 cars and 10x more than Waymo’s total hours driven) would cost $1.15 billion, a very large but not totally infeasible amount, especially if spread out over multiple years.
The caveat is whether the 8 hours figure cited by the Financial Times is accurate. Drive.ai said it would take 800 hours (100x more!) to label an hour of video (or is it an hour of driving, including multiple video streams?), but that automation speeds up the process. By how much? We’re not told. Companies like Scale AI are focused on bringing down the time it takes to label video in order to get more productivity out of their workers.
Another source for the 8 hours figure.