Amazon Flex drivers’ performance is constantly monitored by algorithms. Fall too low on the ratings and you’re fired, all with no human involved in the process.
I think the most disturbing thing about this article is how Amazon knew from the start that there would be some people dismissed unfairly, but the benefits outweighed the potential problems. To quote one of the developers of the system:
“Executives knew this was gonna shit the bed, that’s actually how they put it in meetings. The only question was how much poo we wanted there to be.”
And they can solve that problem too, by removing the humans from the review process, making it so difficult to actually speak to a human that most unfairly dismissed people just give up:
“Whenever there’s an issue, there’s no support. It’s you against the machine, so you don’t even try.”
If you keep enough of the population poor and desperate, there’ll be a long line of people waiting to take their places.
Just before we get too complacent that this is just Amazon/Google/Facebook/etc, technology like this always trickles down. It won’t be long before a cheaper, not quite as well implemented version is available for a monthly subscription to every SME out there.
Work sets you free, right?