Robot managers for gigworkers

Your helpful robot boss?

In a world where we’ve eviscerated the safety net of once stable jobs through outsourcing and gig work, this scenario imagines your robot boss keeping tabs on you during the shift. Since rideshare companies insist their employees aren’t employees, I’ve always thought the people working for them are essentially working for an algorithm and about the harm contained in that relationship, that like many abusive worker-employer relationships evolves from empowering to hard to escape.

One of the “funny” things about tools like Midjourney is recognizing how they’re trained and how that impacts their framing. Without lots of specificity, it’s defaults center a very Western-centric, male gaze that is hard for it to shake. This probably isn’t surprising, but one of the considerations for the “unintentional” harm baked into these types of tools, is how does limited experience perpetuate some of the things society has done that we don’t want to carry onto other era?

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