Today marks the release of Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri’s new book Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass. Here at Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) and Amara, we are excited to have been a part of this extraordinary work, which features our sustainability program Amara on Demand.

Cover of Ghost Work by Mary L. Gray and Siddarth Suri, out May 7, 2019.

Ghost Work is a deep look into the experiences of the invisible army of millions of workers in today’s on-demand economy. Along with its ethnographic accounts of gig economy workers in India and the US, Ghost Work sheds light on how a number of multinational companies operate. Even as companies extol the virtues of robotics, artificial intelligence, and the internet, in reality they rely on humans and crowdwork to finish what Gray and Suri call “automation’s last mile.” Ghost Work sheds light on the fact that the automation technology that makes our everyday lives more convenient, is surprisingly, the result of both machine and human labor.

Ghost Work prominently features Amara On Demand (AOD) as a promising and alternative path for crowdwork. To better understand AOD, the authors of Ghost Work broadly surveyed the AOD linguist community and conducted face-to-face ethnographic interviews with a significant number of linguists. Many of the conclusions presented in the book are drawn directly from the experiences and stories of these linguists. As an organization, we are very excited to have been in a position to contribute to the research. We are also grateful to the authors for the thoughtfulness and great care they took in working with members of AOD.

The book came out today. If you are interested in learning more about the current state of crowdwork, and what can be done to ensure a future of work that benefits everyone, we hope you will give Ghost Work a read.

If you would like to learn more about Amara or Amara On Demand, click here.

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At Amara, Stella's articles cover new product features, community announcements and informative content that helps others create engaging, accessible videos that can benefit everyone.

5 thoughts on “Amara and “Ghost Work” – A New Book by Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri

  1. Giving insight into what is real, rational approach to the situation, economic scenario, stories, experiences of linguistic writers and over all perspective of problems involved inspite of AL and AUTOMATION.

  2. Machines cannot create value. It’s an economical fact that has been very clearly demonstrated by Marx more than 150 years ago. All possible forms of profit are the result of the exploitation of human work. Machines only raise the throughput of organized labor, but can only transfer their own value… which was generated by even more human work. AI and automation cannot ultimately replace human work.

  3. Work on demand is also a great alternative for people around the world who are in need of an honest way to put their good skills into productive affairs; a great way to avoid being a victim of circumstances related to our social surroundings pushing people down. In many cases those social circumstances being simple discrimination.
    In my case because of a sect that’s harassing me because I refused to join them, which is kind of extreme… I won’t put my skills at the service of bigots, my gratitude goes to anyone who recognize my talent has a better use. And I do need all the help I can get; which helps me to help others too.

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