• Workers are the Heart of the Algorithm

    Antonio Casilli, a professor at Télécom ParisTech, is considered one of the leading experts in the capitalism of digital platforms. He was interviewed by Roberto Ciccarelli.

    “We are the ones who make the robots, with our own labour,” he says. “We make the criteria according to which they operate. And then we teach them to learn how to improve. The problem is not that robots are stealing our work, but that we continue to work more and more, and that the platforms are fragmenting and rendering invisible the labour that is necessary to make the algorithms work.“ Keep reading »

  • Unions and the Gig-Economy: The Case of AirBnB

    The so-called gig-economy is celebrated, maligned, fetishized, and qualified by analysts. Whether it is called the collaborative, platform, crowd-sourcing, or sharing-economy, the rise of peer-to-peer exchanges does raise important questions for workers. Do emerging ‘sharing-economy’ platforms such as Uber and Airbnb mark a significant shift in production and distribution systems? Are they emancipatory or exploitive? … Keep reading »

  • Two Essays on the Uber-Taxi Wars

    Uber and the Luddites Michael Rozworksi The fight against the sharing economy, and Uber in particular, can be disorienting. Opposition is often painted as techno-phobia. The good guys in this story are Uber and progress; on the other side are opponents afraid of flexibility and smartphones, kicking and screaming against a future already here. In many ways, … Keep reading »