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We’ve all once needed Uber to go home late in the night or early in the morning, but while ordering one, a part of us does not care about what’s hidden behind. According to an article published in the New York Times, drivers are not traditional employees, with precise schedules but are more considered as independant business owners. However, the app takes algorithms into account that aim to encourage drivers to continue to work if they want to get a better performance (thanks to design, buttons, special direction to get bonus etc) so that the driver is free to choose what he/she wants but “fears” to act different as the app proposes and often just continue to work.

Uber is a precise case but makes wonder, for future innovations to come, if such algorithms aren’t a new way of slavery at work?

This idea could also be linked to Mozorov’s idea of hidden anti-democratic vision of Silicon Valley, mentioned in Karen Yeung‘s presentation (also available on Moodle).