We need to talk more about the future of work and management by algorithm

“I want people to know how powerless you feel when your income comes from a faceless app and when you open it up one morning, things are just different and you’re earning less money and there’s no boss you can talk to, you weren’t told about it, you just see your income is lower today and you just have to deal with it.”

‘They treat us like crap’: Uber drivers feel poor and powerless on eve of IPO

Management by algorithm and faceless bosses, this is the future of work. Consider last week’s report from Business Insider:

“A new report indicates that the company doesn’t just track worker productivity at its warehouses — it also has a system that can automatically generate the paperwork to fire them if they’re not meeting targets.”

Amazon’s warehouse-worker tracking system can automatically pick people to fire without a human supervisor’s involvement

Companies like Uber and Amazon are leading the way for workforces managed by algorithm. They’re experimenting with the most vulnerable workers first – contractors. But you can expect them to apply what they learn to the white collar workforce next.

As more companies experiment with algorithms-as-people-managers, we need to start talking about the impact on the workforce.

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