A Future of Work for the Invisible Workers in A.I.

Dec 6, 2020

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The A.I. industry has created new jobs that have been essential to the real-world deployment of intelligent systems. These new jobs typically focus on labeling data for machine learning models or having workers complete tasks that A.I. alone cannot do. Human labor with A.I. has powered a futuristic reality where self-driving cars and voice assistants are now commonplace. However, the workers powering our A.I. industry are often invisible to consumers. Together, this has facilitated a reality where these invisible workers are often paid below minimum wage and have limited career growth opportunities. In this talk, I will present how we can design a future of work for empowering the invisible workers behind our A.I. I propose a framework that transforms invisible A.I. labor into opportunities for skill growth, hourly wage increase, and facilitates transitioning to new creative jobs that are unlikely to be automated in the future. Taking inspiration from social theories on solidarity and collective action, my framework introduces two new techniques for creating career ladders within invisible A.I. labor: a) Solidarity Blockers, computational methods that use solidarity to collectively organize workers to help each other to build new skills while completing invisible labor; and b) Entrepreneur Blocks, computational techniques that, inspired from collective action theory, guide invisible workers to create new creative solutions and startups in their communities. I will present case-studies showcasing how this framework can drive positive social change for the invisible workers in our A.I. industry. I will also connect how governments and civic organizations in Latin America and U.S. rural states can use the proposed framework to provide new and fair job opportunities. In contrast to prior research that focused primarily on improving A.I., this talk will empower you to create a future that has solidarity with the invisible workers in our A.I. industry.

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About NeurIPS 2020

Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) is a multi-track machine learning and computational neuroscience conference that includes invited talks, demonstrations, symposia and oral and poster presentations of refereed papers. Following the conference, there are workshops which provide a less formal setting.

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