Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global UnderclassGhost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While much attention is given to the rise of AI and how that impacts our lives, this is the first in-depth look at a significant, and very human subtopic: ghost work. Otherwise categorized as freelancing, part of the gig economy, or on-demand labor, ghost work is the tasks that an invisible labor force completes to make the algorithms that power our technological world run smoothly and accurately, tasks like tagging images and transcribing videos. Workers hope to control their work hours and lives, a pipe-dream for most as ghost work upsets the stability of traditional employment, replacing salaries and benefits with low earnings and no protections. This book is the final product of a five-year study by an anthropologist and a computer scientist, blending multiple disciplines for a holistic look at the issue. The researchers evaluated interviews, surveys, behavioral experiments, and social networks, with a focus on the U.S. and India. This is a fascinating look at how companies are circumventing long fought for labor rights and why workers are eager for the opportunity. The authors present thought-provoking take-always for tech entrepreneurs, policy makers, and laborers. For readers of digital issues and labor policy.