The Future of Work

jklmnop

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What do you think about the future of work? Are we on the bleeding edge of the workplace? Will crowdwork be the norm or is it a blip? Is UBI our potential reality or a way for billionaire tech bros to assuage their guilt at disrupting hundreds of industries (or both)?

Talk about the future of work here. Research welcome. Keep it respectful
 

jklmnop

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From the daily thread:

There is NEVER going to be a KILLER script or tool that allows workers to avoid using their own intelligence in playing the mturk game. There might seem to be in the short term, but that is illusion.
I gotta quote this, too (took a minute to read through). There is no magic money button for mturk. Hard work and smart work will always result in a better daily than simple reliance on any one script.

That said, scripted tools for crowdwork are more sophisticated today than they were a year ago, and a year from now they will be more sophisticated than they are today. It is the nature of the work, and you either keep up or give up. Tbh if you start doing this work and you find you like scripting, customizing, working w/ web pages, you are waaaaay better off in the long run learning how to code in some Javascript frameworks or Python than turking. Figure out how turking can fit into your proactive, long-term goals, not your short-term reactive life.

And while you're at it pls find me another 4 hours in every day because I am behind on my damn IT and Python studies this summer...
"That said, scripted tools for crowdwork are more sophisticated today than they were a year ago, and a year from now they will be more sophisticated than they are today."
I think this is very true, and far more important than most people recognize, since in the long run it makes "crowdwork" far more viable. It is far from clear to me that even Mr. Bezos has fully grasped this, although he is obviously killing it in other realms. (What I mean is that the continuing recognition that better and better tools are possible in "crowdwork" is going to draw more and more people in, and people will be able to find their level, and work to improve their level... that is pretty much the way it is right now, but many don't realize it...)
That's certainly possible, but without a wage floor, it is increasingly likely (imo) that the online marketplace for work will split into two: highly-skilled workers doing tasks that can't be automated/MLed, and then workers in the developing world being paid wages that would be unsustainable in the US. We're already seeing this now with the proliferation of crowdwork platforms (for specialized/skilled labor) and the race to create successful autonomous vehicles (for everything else). Companies are creating entire workforces overseas and paying them peanuts. These jobs will never be available to American workers because the companies have decided they don't have to pay more than $1-2/hr for the work (for things like image annotation). Edit to add - the middle ground that your garden variety, general-purpose turker inhabits right now will probably be gone in a few years, replaced by platform and work specialization.

The better tools? They're being used to bridge the technological divide that to this point has prevented such outsourcing. They're being used to service that $1-2/hr workforce, not to make things ANY better here. They will not be used for good. Anyone who doesn't see a role for themselves in that "highly-skilled" bracket should start figuring out one, now.
I think you are raising the issues that need to be debated at length, but they are not. We are about to lose this daily thread and to veer too much into politics for the thread, so I'll try to be precise: I think that the pool of potentially highly skilled workers who in some sense actively reject "credentialism" and the "W-2" lifestyle is only going to increase. But this is a very, very complex issue.
 

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I use the tools that I have access to, if I like them.. but I also try to work logically. apparently. I found that out when I mentioned how/what I search for, and people were like "hrrmmm.. that's a good idea"

also, I think it's better to work within the $/hr range that you want to work in; I do not work below my hourly and I think that by doing so, I'm sending a message that such a rate is OK with me.
 
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mboone73

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Interesting question. Automation is only going to increase, and not just for crowd work. Requesters still seem to want human intelligence for their tasks, particularly for surveys. I'm not sure where we are exactly as far as AI is concerned. Take A9s for example. Could a program be written to recognize if a shirt is short sleeve, long sleeve, or no sleeve? I would think so. I guess it's still a matter of paying crowd workers pennies versus paying programmers a bit more than that. Which is why it's awesome that there are those of you with more patience than myself who learn some programming skills on their own. I would encourage you to not stop there if you enjoy. Maybe save up and take some courses. Get certified. Slap that bad boy on your resume.

I guess the bigger question is how automation will affect the workforce. I think it's a legitimate concern. I also worry about the sophistication of AI, and if they will simply one day decide that humans aren't necessary. Maybe I read too many sci fi novels growing up. I'll be in my robot proof bunker if you need me.
 
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Achilles2357

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I think that it will be an excellent thing if "crowdwork"/"gig work" becomes much more common, and becomes recognized by most as an inherently viable way to earn money.

I think it would be great if some people earned all their money this way, and some people earned some of it that way, earning other money by developing freelancer profiles or by having standard "W-2" "jobs".

I think that current trends make this viable. At the same time, people with W-2 jobs are much more controllable. It is also true that W-2 jobs routinely offer all sorts of "benefits" that do not come to other sorts of workers. In the present day USA, people tend to regard "having a job" as crucial, but I think that a big part of this is that "having a job" provides benefits like health insurance, etc., that are not logically connected at all with employment or doing work to earn money.

If I am right, then some sort of alternate social safety net, like UBI, should be seriously debated. At present, this seems supported mainly by "socialists" and a few "techbros" who are looking towards the future. I am hard pressed to see how UBI would be any worse than the bureaucratic hodgepodge of public welfare programs that now exist. To some extent, "Obamacare" was sold as something like UBI that would enable freelancers, etc, to do their own thing, but... maybe I should just drop that topic. To be honest, I am very sympathetic to the basic impulse, but I think the reality has been disastrous.

As to why I think crowd/gig work may have inherent value, I have three points right now: 1) it can free workers from dependence on particular employers and allow them to engage with the wider world as they see fit; 2) it can allow workers to pursue multiple options at once, while still earning money; and 3) it can allow workers to separate the task of earning money from the pursuit of whatever actually matters in life.

Also, the basic viability of crowd/gig work, from the perspective of employers, is only going to increase, so I think it makes sense to consider how to make it work.
I will give this more thought...
 
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Achilles2357

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Interesting question. Automation is only going to increase, and not just for crowd work. Requesters still seem to want human intelligence for their tasks, particularly for surveys. I'm not sure where we are exactly as far as AI is concerned. Take A9s for example. Could a program be written to recognize if a shirt is short sleeve, long sleeve, or no sleeve? I would think so. I guess it's still a matter of paying crowd workers pennies versus paying programmers a bit more than that. Which is why it's awesome that there are those of you with more patience than myself who learn some programming skills on their own. I would encourage you to not stop there if you enjoy. Maybe save up and take some courses. Get certified. Slap that bad boy on your resume.

I guess the bigger question is how automation will affect the workforce. I think it's a legitimate concern. I also worry about the sophistication of AI, and if they will simply one day decide that humans aren't necessary. Maybe I read too many sci fi novels growing up. I'll be in my robot proof bunker if you need me.
"Get certified. Slap that bad boy on your resume."
As I understand things, a major problem with "tech" resumes now is that they are read by.... bots!
(I certainly agree that... no matter what your real interests in life, part of doing better at mturk is learning more tech stuff.)
 

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Automation is increasing and will continue to increase. There will always he use for human input though, obviously vastly reduced. It just the way the things are
 

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Hi Everyone, I am fairly new to forums...at best its been years since I was one on. I cannot figure out how to start a thread! UG, can someone give me direction? Im not sure how I will see your answer because Im not versed in this platform but I am a worker and very upset because I keep running into requesters that DONT PAY. You go through the entire survey and get a thank you page instead of a code. Then I tried to bypass their greediness and just copied and pasted the url into the code area which worked at first but today I saw a rejection from one well paying one. I couldnt believe it, not only do they try not to pay in general but even after you work it and try to actually get paid, they reject it. And amazon does ZERO to help.

Any suggestions? Is there a blacklist site...I already have my own blacklist spreadsheet!

Diane
 
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jan

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Hi Everyone, I am fairly new to forums...at best its been years since I was one on. I cannot figure out how to start a thread! UG, can someone give me direction? Im not sure how I will see your answer because Im not versed in this platform but I am a worker and very upset because I keep running into requesters that DONT PAY. You go through the entire survey and get a thank you page instead of a code. Then I tried to bypass their greediness and just copied and pasted the url into the code area which worked at first but today I saw a rejection from one well paying one. I couldnt believe it, not only do they try not to pay in general but even after you work it and try to actually get paid, they reject it. And amazon does ZERO to help.

Any suggestions? Is there a blacklist site...I already have my own blacklist spreadsheet!

Diane
Yes, we use Turk Opticon and Turker View. Have you downloaded Mturk Suite yet? Do that right away. https://github.com/Kadauchi/mturk-suite/wiki
ETA: I'm in bed debating whether to get up and start shoveling :). I'll add more later if I can.
welcome! feel free to post in the work thread.
 
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