Researcher/Technical Writer in New York
Alex Rosenblat is a technology ethnographer who works as a Researcher & Technical Writer at Data & Society. She studies automation, labor, and work. That's a fancy way of saying she researches how technology is changing the way we do our jobs. She writes about her findings in academic journals and in media outlets.
Through qualitative research in online forums and through interviews, she studies how Uber and Lyft drivers manage their work in semi-automated workplaces across varied regions in the U.S. and Canada.
Recent Academic Outputs:
Rosenblat, A., & Stark, L. (2016). Algorithmic Labor and Information Asymmetries: A Case Study of Uber’s Drivers. International Journal Of Communication, 10, 27.
Rosenblat, A. Levy, K., Barocas, S., & Hwang, T. (2016). Discriminating Tastes: Consumer Ratings as Vehicles for Bias. Presented on Sept. 22, 2016, at The Platform Society, Oxford Internet Institute.
Plot: Consumer-sourced rating systems can be a backdoor for bias and employment discrimination, but there aren't a lot of legal recourses available to independent contractors. We make a bunch of recommendations for platforms that want to do it for social equity reasons, though!
Bonus: Best Paper Prize. Thanks, Oxford!
Rosenblat, A. and Hwang, T. The Wisdom of the Captured. Sept, 2016.
Plot: When you get personalized recommendations from data-centric, crowd-sourced systems, like Google Maps, are you getting the best rec according to the info the system has gathered already, or are you being sent on an exploratory mission to gather intel?
Recent articles by Alex:
Press Coverage Highlights:
New Scientist - Do Uber ratings let passengers discriminate against drivers?
The Wall Street Journal - At Uber, the Algorithm Is More Controlling Than the Real Boss
MIT Technology Review -When Your Boss Is an Algorithm
The platform economy at work: How drivers and riders experience Uber, ICOS Lecture Series, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan