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Disrupt Yourself Podcast with Whitney Johnson

Aug 4, 2020

Open google, type a word or a phrase, any phrase... red car, modern couch, dog, and a slew of results will populate your browser window. Who is responsible for the avalanche information that lies just a few keystrokes away? Are there downsides to this world of information accessibility?

Our guest this week, Mary L. Gray lives to answer these questions and attempts to do so in her new book, Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass. The book, written with co-author Siddharth Suri, tackles explaining the new and ever-changing workforce responsible for captioning photos, flagging and removing inappropriate content, or even writing, designing or coding a project to move it along. Mary and Siddharth explore the lives of these workers – ghost workers – exposing a world marked by low pay, no benefits and wildly unpredictable income.

An estimated 8 percent of Americans have worked at least once in this “ghost economy,” and that number is growing.

Mary L. Gray is a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Along with her research, Mary teaches at Indiana University, maintaining an appointment as an Associate Professor of the Media School, with affiliations in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies.

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