Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace: What is at Stake for Workers?
Machines, both analog and digital, have been used over time to help workplace designers calculate outputs of work and, indeed, to replace work through automation, now, via the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and applications. What types of “intelligence” are expected from technologies? How does management use personal data acquired by machines and make assumptions of respective types of intelligence? Data has been gathered from job candidates’ and workers’ activities over time, where even physical movements and sentiments, as well as precise social media use, are tracked. When “big data” is big enough, it is used to train algorithms that predict talents and capabilities; monitor performance; set and assess work outputs; link workers to clients; judge states of being and emotions; provide modular training on the factory floor; look for patterns across workforces; and more. How does AI become central to this process of decision-making? In this context, what risks do workers face today in the digitalized, AI-augmented workplace?