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Micro-work, artificial intelligence and the automotive industry

Author

Listed:
  • Paola Tubaro

    () (CNRS)

  • Antonio A. Casilli

    (Département SES, Telecom ParisTech)

Abstract

This paper delves into the human factors in the “back-office” of artificial intelligence and of its data-intensive algorithmic underpinnings. We show that the production of AI is a labor-intensive process, which particularly needs the little-qualified, inconspicuous and low-paid contribution of “micro-workers” who annotate, tag, label, correct and sort the data that help to train and test smart solutions. We illustrate these ideas in the high-profile case of the automotive industry, one of the largest clients of digital data-related micro-working services, notably for the development of autonomous and connected cars. This case demonstrates how micro-work has a place in long supply chains, where tech companies compete with more traditional industry players. Our analysis indicates that the need for micro-work is not a transitory, but a structural one, bound to accompany the further development of the sector; and that its provision involves workers in different geographical and linguistic areas, requiring the joint study of multiple platforms operating at both global and local levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Paola Tubaro & Antonio A. Casilli, 2019. "Micro-work, artificial intelligence and the automotive industry," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 46(3), pages 333-345, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:epolin:v:46:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s40812-019-00121-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s40812-019-00121-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    2. David H. Autor, 2015. "Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
    3. Cl'ement Le Ludec & Paola Tubaro & Antonio A. Casilli, 2019. "How many people microwork in France? Estimating the size of a new labor force," Papers 1901.03889, arXiv.org.
    4. Schmidt, Florian A., 2019. "Crowdproduktion von Trainingsdaten: Zur Rolle von Online-Arbeit beim Trainieren autonomer Fahrzeuge," Study / edition der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf, volume 127, number 417, October.
    5. Siou Chew Kuek & Cecilia Paradi-Guilford & Toks Fayomi & Saori Imaizumi & Panos Ipeirotis & Patricia Pina & Manpreet Singh, 2015. "The Global Opportunity in Online Outsourcing," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22284, The World Bank.
    6. Ohnemus, Jörg & Erdsiek, Daniel & Viete, Steffen, 2016. "Nutzung von Crowdworking durch Unternehmen: Ergebnisse einer ZEW Unternehmensbefragung," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research, number 148354.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lucrezia Fanti & Dario Guarascio & Massimo Moggi, 2020. "The development of AI and its impact on business models, organization and work," LEM Papers Series 2020/25, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    2. Valeria Cirillo & Matteo Rinaldini & Jacopo Staccioli & Maria Enrica Virgillito, 2020. "Trade unions' responses to Industry 4.0 amid corporatism and resistance," LEM Papers Series 2020/21, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Paola Tubaro & Clément Le Ludec & Antonio Casilli, 2020. "Counting ‘micro-workers’: societal and methodological challenges around new forms of labour," Post-Print hal-02898905, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Artificial intelligence; Micro-work; Automotive industry; Digital platform economy; Organization of work;

    JEL classification:

    • D26 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Crowd-Based Firms
    • J49 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Other
    • L62 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Automobiles; Other Transportation Equipment; Related Parts and Equipment
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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