Beware of AI being introduced in the workplace!

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Beware of AI being introduced in the workplace!

Post by Robo »

Beware of AI being introduced in the workplace... this could be the basis for a Twilight Zone short story ...
AI is coming to your workplace. Is Europe ready?

DW News
23rd January, 2023

While artificial intelligence tools have been deployed in the gig economy for a while now, they are making rapid inroads into other sectors. What does it mean for your job?

Renan Rodrigues had been working as a food delivery driver at Swiss company Smood for about a year and a half when "the robot" took over. This is how the 33-year-old describes the algorithm-powered program that allocated deliveries and shifts for him and his colleagues.

Smood had used such software since he started working there in 2020, Rodrigues told DW. But at a certain point, "the robot" became entirely responsible for planning his working day, according to him, and appealing to human managers was no longer possible.

The goal of "the robot" was to organize deliveries in the most efficient way possible. From his employer's perspective, Rodrigues is sure that it worked. When he started at Smood in the small Swiss town of Yverdon-Les-Bains, it was typical to do around two deliveries an hour, he said. By the time he left, it was more like four or five.

"I quickly understood that it would be a disaster on a human level," Rodrigues told DW. He saw "the robot" pitting employees against each other. The quickest, best-performing drivers got more deliveries, he claimed. Ultimately, he said, he found himself getting less work. His zero-hour contract didn't guarantee him a minimum number of working hours or a fixed monthly wage, and he found it difficult to anticipate his income.

"For me, the worst part was to tell me that I have a stopwatch running at all times, hours and places, when I'm already being tracked by GPS systems, for my speed, etc.," he said. It created what he called "social stress." Instead of greeting a restaurateur when picking up a meal, he would bark at them to hurry up, running in and out. "It's sad on a human level."
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