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Micro-work, artificial intelligence and the automotive industry

Author

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  • Paola Tubaro

    () (LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique - CentraleSupélec - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, TAU - TAckling the Underspecified - Inria Saclay - Ile de France - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique - LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique - CentraleSupélec - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Antonio Casilli

    () (I3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217) - Institut interdisciplinaire de l’innovation - X - École polytechnique - Télécom ParisTech - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Télécom 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 Casilli, 2019. "Micro-work, artificial intelligence and the automotive industry," Post-Print hal-02148979, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-02148979
    DOI: 10.1007/s40812-019-00121-1
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02148979
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Clément Le Ludec & Paola Tubaro & Antonio Casilli, 2019. "How many people microwork in France? Estimating the size of a new labor force," Working Papers hal-02012731, HAL.
    2. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2014. "Platform Competition in Two-Sided Markets," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 10.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

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    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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