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Mary L. Gray Explores Ghost Work

Professor Mary L. Gray is a leading expert in the emerging field of artificial intelligence and ethics. In her new book, with computer scientist Siddharth Suri, she explores the lives of people who are paid to train artificial intelligence and serve as “humans in the loop” delivering on-demand information services.

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass shows how services delivered by companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Uber can only function smoothly thanks to the judgment and experience of a vast, invisible human labor force. These people doing “ghost work” make the internet seem smart. They perform high-tech piecework: flagging X-rated content, proofreading, designing engine parts, and much more.

Mary L. Gray is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. She maintains a faculty position in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering with affiliations in Anthropology, Gender Studies and the Media School at Indiana University. Her research looks at how technology access, material conditions, and everyday uses of media transform people’s lives.
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