Your New Boss Just Got Hired; His Name is Mr. App & Lives in a Black Box. Thinks Transparency is Bad Idea. Algorithms Going to Run the Place? Watch yourself?

SITUATION:
You are Gig Worker? Drive you own car to deliver food & goods? Alert!
You may be answering to an Algorithm soon? The boss’s name is “Mr. App”
Drivers at Doordash & other delivery companies are asking why app & protesting.

SIGNICANCE:
Apps can control where and when delivers are made.
Apps are telling delivery people to go against traffic to deliver on time.|
Algorithmic management is being pioneered by Uber.
Seeks to efficiently manage its distributed driver workforce.
Protests against a new “black-box algorithm pay structure being made.
Some companies are using algorithms to avoid transparency & practice fraud.
Target-owned company’s algorithm offers “zero transparency.”
Another gig company, Shipt, argues the change will make what shoppers pay to be more accurate.

SOLUTIONS:
Some retailers & food prep people like the idea but drivers don’t.
The algorithm captures driver data, driver car history, & the weather.
Including maintenance history of the driver’s car. & consumer reviews.
Algorithmically generated decisions often act as a form of app-based nudges.
AI techniques like machine learning generate prompts to incentivize & monitor drivers.
Can assign/delegate driver shifts & change due to projected spikes in foot traffic.
Frustration comes from combo of surveillance, opaqueness, & algorithmic indifference.

SEZ:
“This is another incentive is at play: maintaining asymmetry”
“Companies may view transparency as unappealing”.
“The way algorithmic control works is that workers don’t know how it’s functioning.” – Data & Society researcher Alexandra Mateescu

SOURCE:
When Algorithms Run the Workplace, October 5, 2020 –  https://www.morningbrew.com/emerging-tech/stories/2020/10/05/algorithms-run-workplace

 

 

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