Computers, unlike human brains, are unable to process visual information in the way we do. To make decisions, a computer must be told what it is seeing and given context, and data annotation is what makes it happen. It’s the role of humans to label material such as text, audio, pictures, and video to be recognized by machine learning algorithms to make predictions or statements.
A data annotation specialist is someone responsible for training an AI model, which adds descriptions and metadata to the images, sounds, videos, or texts. They ensure that what’s being put into the algorithm is correct according to the rules it will interpret.
Data annotation specialists are well-suited to work with AI systems that use deep learning or machine learning techniques. Data annotation specialists must have a detailed understanding of these technologies and their limitations and some programming skills and knowledge on using APIs.
What exactly is the role of data annotation specialists?
Usually, they will be given large datasets and the instructions to add encodings such as captions, keywords, categories, and other data. Labeling images is one of the most common tasks involved in data annotation. For example, A company may create a program that can recognize cars in photos posted on social media sites. They hire an annotating specialist to give those images captions such as “car” and “tires” so the car detectors can process them.
A data annotation specialist may also be hired for quality assurance tasks like auditing and monitoring. For example, they can monitor if the algorithm still labels images correctly. Humans are much better at spotting mistakes than computers, so they check data for errors before it goes into an AI model. They may also help choose what types of labels should be added.
To make data more relevant, an annotation professional may also add audio annotations to documents, which is a form of additional data appended to existing text in the form of transcription. Audio annotations are helpful to create tools such as speech-to-text transcription, audio classification, and sound labeling.
Depending on the position, a data annotation specialist may also need to work with video annotation. The method entails labeling or tagging video segments to train computer vision models to identify or detect objects. Rather than captioning pictures, as image annotation does, video annotation involves annotating things on a frame-by-frame basis for machines to recognize them.
How do you become a data annotation specialist?
You don’t need any academic qualifications to become a data annotation specialist, but anyone who wants to can improve their chances by getting relevant degrees in areas like computer science. Most companies hiring for this role will require applicants to have at least one year of experience in the field they’re applying for, so work experience is also a significant factor.
Companies typically need data annotation specialists who have a broad range of skills and talents. In addition to recognizing labels that go with images, video, or text samples, you must be detail-oriented and know how to set priorities and multitask.