Santa Fe Institute
AI and the Gig Economy with Mary Gray
Artificial Intelligence is constantly in the news, and the usual question is whether it will help us or replace us. But behind every AI is a long supply chain of human work that shapes decision-making systems. These hidden humans doing that work operate in the gig economy. Their work, like that of most gig workers, is independent and precarious, yet the AI they develop carries the artifact of their labor. They enrich and refine the data that AI depends on, and intervene when it fails.
So, will AI amplify our biases, or help us transcend them? Does AI simply distill our own ideas and reflect them back at us, or does it provide something new?? And what democratic processes can, or should, govern the creation and uses of AI?
Mary L. Gray is a MacArthur Fellow, a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, and a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Her book Ghost Work, coauthored with Siddharth Suri, explores the lives of those whose work underlies AI’s success.
Cris Moore is a Professor at the Santa Fe Institute who studies the uses and misuses of algorithms in criminal justice and housing.