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JohnRobb predicts a "turking" economy :

Most work will be turking.

What is turking? It’s when human beings do the work that bots aren’t able to do yet, but they do it in a way a bot would do it.


It’s not hard, but you don’t get paid much to do it either.


There are lots of fast growing labor based companies in the “sharing economy” that are moving in this direction too. Companies like UberCompany, TaskRabbit, and Samasource are heading in this direction too.


Although it may not seem like it now, this is what these companies will end up doing as they begin to replace workers with bots (for example: Uber will start to replace drivers with self-driving vehicles by 2019, when the first self-driving cars are starting to sell in volume).


The reason why this will occur isn’t that obvious. It’s due to the way bots will eat jobs (and they will eat jobs in every industry from construction to medical to law to education to farming to government).

When bots take over jobs, they will force a restructuring of the workplace. However, there will still be things that bots can’t do.

That’s what turking is for. Turking services use human beings to do the portions of a job bots can’t do.

This isn’t going to be the creative and meaningful work people hope it will be, it will be exactly the opposite.

Additionally, these jobs will be built in a way that a bot would do it, so they can fit in with all of the other work already being done by bots.

Further, it also needs to be done in a way that a bot can learn from what the human beings do.

As you can imagine, training bots to do everything a human mind can do is going to be a HUGE industry. An industry so big it is going to create some of the biggest companies in the world (Turk companies could employ hundreds of millions of people all over the world, making them 100x larger than the largest employers in the world today).

Named for TheMechanicalTurk of course. Particularly AmazonCorp's implementation.

Robb also thinks that it will be tied in with a trend for Turking companies to offer their workers "training" in return for MicroCredit which will actually lock them into debt and a kind of indentured labour.

I've been saying for a while that exploitation from dominating turking / gig-economy platforms will come in the form of ever more onerous service-level agreements for little or no extra money. The platform will get the benefits, but the micro-suppliers will end up with the risk.

This 2017 story about Uber CEO TravisKalanick arguing with his own Uber driver illustrates the point.

Compare :

On Quora :

This article :


points out how much turking companies use GamificationAsControl.

See also :



Added 2020-04-18 : Originally 2020-04-18


Added 2019-07-31 : Originally 2019-07-31


Added 2018-10-08 : Originally 2018-09-08


Added 2018-10-08 : https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/08/silicon-valley-engineers-fear-they-created-a-monster

Bookmarked 2020-09-27T13:41:52.158003: https://www.quora.com/Is-driving-for-Uber-worth-the-wear-and-tear-and-mileage-on-my-car/answers/55333721