Online Workshop – Critical AI and Labour: Power, Value Chains, and Reproduction


Critical AI and Labour: Power, Value Chains, and Reproduction 

CRIMT joins OBVIA for this online workshop entitled Critical AI and Labour: Power, Value Chains, and Reproduction. We gather global experts examining the countless workers who are required to help build, maintain, and test artificial intelligence (AI) systems in what Mary Gray and Siddharth Suri at Microsoft Research refer to as “ghost work” and what Lilly Irani calls “human-fuelled automation.” We will open with an inquiry into a power-aware perspective of “studying up” machine learning (ML) datasets. Then, we examine the workers in the global value chains of AI production between France and Madagascar, and lastly, we expand this by looking at the unsustainable reproductive labour it requires on families and communities. We will end with a lively discussion of possible solutions with the audience and members of the wider AI and labour communities.  

Held online on Thursday, 24th November 2022      

9:30 – 11:00 AM (Montréal)
3:30 – 5:00 PM (Berlin)
4:30 – 6:00 PM (Cape Town)


Convenor and Discussant: 

Kai-Hsin Hung
PhD Candidate, HEC Montréal

Studying Up Machine Learning Data: Why Talk About Bias When We Mean Power? 

Dr. Milagros Miceli
Research Group Lead at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society, Associate Researcher, Distributed AI Research Institute, Berlin, Germany

Driving the Digital Value Network: Economic Geographies of Global Platform Capitalism 

Dr. Kelle Howson
Researcher at Research ICT Africa & Institute for Economic Justice  

How are AI Companies Shaping Labour Along Their Value Chain? A Case Study on Labour Displacement, Value Chain Opacity and Workers Invisibilization 

Clément Le Ludec & Maxime Cornet
PhD Candidates, Télécom Paris – Institut polytechnique de Paris, Paris, France 

Embedded Reproduction: Social Support for Platform Data Workers

Dr. Julian Posada
Postdoctoral Associate and Incoming Assistant Professor, Yale University, New Haven, the United States