You are now in the main content area

Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work

Date
January 14, 2019
Time
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location
RCC 230 - The Catalyst Conference Room
Open To
Public
Contact
thecatalyst@ryerson.ca

Please join us on Monday, January 14th for Infoscape’s first Speaker at the Catalyst! Alex Rosenblat will be joining us at noon to discuss her book Uberland. Silicon Valley technology is transforming the way we work, and Uber is leading the charge. An American startup that promised to deliver entrepreneurship for the masses through its technology, Uber instead built a new template for employment using algorithms and Internet platforms. Upending our understanding of work in the digital age, Uberland paints a future where any of us might be managed by a faceless boss.

The neutral language of technology masks the powerful influence algorithms have across the New Economy. Uberland chronicles the stories of drivers in more than twenty-five cities in the United States and Canada over four years, shedding light on their working conditions and providing a window into how they feel behind the wheel. The book also explores Uber’s outsized influence around the world: the billion-dollar company is now influencing everything from debates about sexual harassment and transportation regulations to racial equality campaigns and labor rights initiatives.

The book is based on award-winning technology ethnographer Alex Rosenblat’s firsthand experience of riding over 5,000 miles with Uber drivers, daily visits to online forums, and face-to-face discussions with senior Uber employees, Uberland goes beyond the headlines to reveal the complicated politics of popular technologies that are manipulating both workers and consumers.

 About Alex Rosenblat

Alex Rosenblat is a technology ethnographer and the author of Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work, published by University of California Press. A researcher at the Data & Society Research Institute, she holds a master’s degree in sociology from Queen’s University and a bachelor of arts degree in history from McGill University. Alex’s writing has appeared in media outlets such as the New York Times, the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, Slate, and Fast Company. Her research has received attention worldwide, and has been covered in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, MIT Technology Review, WIRED, New Scientist, and the Guardian. Among the scholarly and professional publications in which her prize-winning work has been published are the International Journal of Communication and the Columbia Law Review.