Valuing Crowdwork’s Invisible Engine: The Role of Worker Collaboration in Platform Economies & On-Demand Labor Markets

Mary L. Gray

Microsoft Research New England/The Media School, Indiana University

Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She maintains an appointment as Associate Professor of the Media School, with affiliations in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies at Indiana University. Her research looks at how media access and everyday uses of technologies transform people's lives. Her most recent book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America (New York University Press, 2009) looked at how young people in the rural United States use media to negotiate their sexual and gender identities, local belonging, and visibility in national LGBT politics, more broadly. Mary's current book project, co-authored with computer scientist Siddharth Suri, uses case studies of present day crowdwork on four different crowdsourcing platforms, comparing workers' experiences in the United States and India, to think through the social impact of digital workforces on the future of employment.


On-demand labor—work sourced, scheduled, and paid through website and mobile app accounts—has become the core “operating system” for a range of on-demand services, from TaskRabbit and Upwork to Uber. On-demand labor is... [ view full abstract ]


KN-3 » Keynote: Mary L. Gray (09:25 - Monday, 1st August, Auditorium, Spangler Center )