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Gaming the Gig Economy - Psycho-Tricks Make Working for Free as Addictive as Gaming

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posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 10:11 AM
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Robots are taking peoples’ jobs, most everything is up for automation and AI is coming. But we’re not there yet. So Big Business needs people to cover the transition. Which is where the Gig Economy comes in. It’s all about transitioning to the future - the AI economy.

Usedtabe, people had stable jobs, worked regular hours for a regular income, had job security with benefits - and legal protecions. Now, no. Now, more and more industries use “contractors” - turning usedtabe employees into “owners” and usedtabe jobs into “piece work” - for computer coding and programming, driving for Uber or Lyft, preparing legal briefs, delivery jobs, you name it. That means no stable income, no benefits, no security for ordinary people - and bigger profits for Big Business. Much bigger profits.

And a no-risk transition to automation and AI.

The main problem with the Gig Economy - using contractors for usedtabe regular jobs - is you can’t force people to show up and work. And you can’t force them to wait around, unpaid, for the next paying fare. But you need them when you need them. So Big Biz is using psychology to manipulate contractors into taking less money when they are paid, and to wait around for work, unpaid. And they’re using big data collected from gaming -and the same algorithms- to do it.

The favored psycho-tricks are called “risk aversion,” “goal setting,” “automatic queuing,” “awards” like badges and titles, and the “ludic loop” - all tweaked and tested in the gaming community - known to promote addictive behavior and addiction to “the game.”

So be conscious, be aware and beware.



…gamification could be a force for good in the gig economy (but) … “If what you’re doing is basically saying, ‘We’ve found a cheap way to get you to do work without paying you for it, we’ll pay you in badges that don’t cost anything,’ that’s a manipulative way to go about it,” …



How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons

The company has undertaken an extraordinary experiment in behavioral science to subtly entice an independent work force to maximize its growth.

…it is engaged in an extraordinary behind-the-scenes experiment in behavioral science to manipulate them in the service of its corporate growth…

Uber’s innovations reflect the changing ways companies are managing workers amid the rise of the freelance-based “gig economy.” Its drivers are officially independent business owners rather than traditional employees with set schedules. This allows Uber to minimize labor costs, but means it cannot compel drivers to show up at a specific place and time. …

Uber helps solve this fundamental problem by using psychological inducements and other techniques unearthed by social science to influence when, where and how long drivers work. …

Employing hundreds of social scientists and data scientists, Uber has experimented with video game techniques, graphics and noncash rewards of little value that can prod drivers into working longer and harder…

…other “gig economy” platforms are also involved. Uber’s main competitor, Lyft, and popular delivery services like Postmates rely on similar approaches. So do companies and individuals posting assignments on crowdsourcing sites like Amazon Mechanical Turk, where hundreds of thousands of workers earn piece-rate wages by completing discrete tasks.

Of course, many companies try to nudge consumers into buying their products and services using psychological tricks. But extending these efforts to the work force is potentially transformative. [Duh.]




What say you ATS? …I suspect it’s impossible to opt out. But playing the game helps build a totally jobless future.





edit on 3-4-2017 by soficrow because: title

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posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 10:20 AM
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For those who don't know yet...


What is the 'gig' economy?

According to one definition, it is "a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs".
And - taking opposing partisan viewpoints - it is either a working environment that offers flexibility with regard to employment hours, or... it is a form of exploitation with very little workplace protection.

...In the gig economy, instead of a regular wage, workers get paid for the "gigs" they do, such as a food delivery or a car journey.

In the UK it's estimated that five million people are employed in this type of capacity.
Jobs include couriers, ride-hailing drivers and video producers.

...One difference worth noting is that workers in the gig economy differ slightly from those on zero-hours contracts.
Those are the - also controversial - arrangements used by companies such as Sports Direct, JD Wetherspoons and Cineworld.

Like workers in the gig economy, zero-hours contractors - or casual contractors - don't get guaranteed hours or much job security from their employer.

But people on zero-hours contracts are seen as employees in some sense, as they are entitled to holiday pay. But, like those in the gig economy, they are not entitled to sick pay.




posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 10:20 AM
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Getting more for less from their "employees" is always a good business move. Socially it is a total dick move.

Business, in general, is not there to help society, but to help itself. We, the people, form governments to regulate business and our own interactions, to keep businesses (and each other) from running wild over each other's rights and liberties. One right is being fairly compensated for work rendered.

As businesses try these gaming techniques we will probably see a response from consumers, employees and government regulation to curb the most egregious of the abuses into something at least tolerable to society. Business will probably think the regulations go to far, the employees will think they don't go far enough. We will reach an equilibrium where both sides are equally unhappy but will do nothing more than grumble about it. No one will be satisfied, but life will go on.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 10:26 AM
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originally posted by: BomSquad
Getting more for less from their "employees" is always a good business move. Socially it is a total dick move.


Chinese slave labor has a been a productivity boost to the corporations for 20 years. I say we slap a tariff on every container coming into this country proportional to our trade imbalance with the country of origin.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 10:31 AM
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originally posted by: BomSquad
Getting more for less from their "employees" is always a good business move. Socially it is a total dick move.

Business, in general, is not there to help society, but to help itself. We, the people, form governments to regulate business and our own interactions, to keep businesses (and each other) from running wild over each other's rights and liberties. One right is being fairly compensated for work rendered.

As businesses try these gaming techniques we will probably see a response from consumers, employees and government regulation to curb the most egregious of the abuses into something at least tolerable to society. Business will probably think the regulations go to far, the employees will think they don't go far enough. We will reach an equilibrium where both sides are equally unhappy but will do nothing more than grumble about it. No one will be satisfied, but life will go on.


Yes, life will go on but what about that bit about how the gig economy is a way to 'trick' ordinary people into financing th transition to a fully automated AI economy? ...No comment?

And this bit...


We have the laws for a fairer gig economy, we just need to enforce them

…Dewhurst warns that this on-demand model could spread to white-collar jobs. What about lawyers or accountants, waiting by the phone or laptop to do some paperwork, threatened by the alternative of a robot that might do the same job for a vastly smaller fee? How much will even an expensively trained human be able to charge for that gig?

Unless we take drastic action, we will all wake up in five years’ time, on bogus contracts, with no employment rights, paid per task, and managed by a smartphone,” Dewhurst says.



True, but Dewhurst seems rather blissfully unaware that in 5 years time, robots and automation will have taken a LOT more jobs.





posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 10:33 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

A good idea in theory. the problem is that the consumer is the one that actually pays the tariff by the increase in the price of the goods being imported. Without a manufacturing base domestically, there is no real competition to these imported goods. Therefore consumers will be paying higher prices and no additional benefits to local economies will be realized, at least in the short term.

If this continued long enough, there would be incentive to create manufacturing jobs locally if they could beat the price point of the imported tariffed goods, but I don't think the consumer would be willing to wait for this to happen.

The consumer wants cheap goods. Once the consumer figures out that the tariffs are the reason their goods are no longer cheap, they will lobby to get the tariffs lifted, even though it is in their best long term interest to have them stay.

Like I said, a good idea in theory, but human nature will work against it.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 10:41 AM
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a reply to: soficrow

Everytime automation has taken jobs, new industries have sprung up, needing employees. Just look at the industrial revolution with it's labor saving machines cracking out additional productivity with fewer people. In the beginning we started loosing skilled labor jobs such as tinsmiths, blacksmiths, weavers, etc. These jobs slowly turned into factory worker jobs. It sucked for the weaver who no longer had a customer base, but they didn't stay unemployed forever. They transitioned into different job types, perhaps not at satisfying, but they didn't starve to death (by and large, some might have for all I know, I don't have a complete history of every weaver from the 19th century).

My point is, there is always work for an enterprising individual who is willing to work. And perhaps once everything is automated, then we will welcome our machine overlords, enter the post-scarcity society, and sit at home watching TV all day eating bon bons and drinking champagne.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

Agreed.

Anyone who doesn't believe that slave labor isn't a boost go to allibaba .com and check the prices huge corps pay-VS-sell. There is huge $$ being made. Of course there is over head, but when you see the prices of 125$ shoes, it is amazing.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 11:06 AM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015

originally posted by: BomSquad
Getting more for less from their "employees" is always a good business move. Socially it is a total dick move.


Chinese slave labor has a been a productivity boost to the corporations for 20 years. I say we slap a tariff on every container coming into this country proportional to our trade imbalance with the country of origin.


The OP is about how workers in the Gig Economy are being used to finance the transition to full-out robotics and automation, and eventually, the AI Economy. Any thoughts on that bit?

As far as your comments, it so happens that China is leading the charge into robotics and automation. Fact is, tariffs would have to be HUGE to bring prices up to a 'competitive' level. Doubt it will happen.



China's insane spending on robotics is fundamentally changing capitalism

…"Low-cost manufacturing has bounced around (mainly) Asia for decades to take advantage of this deep pool of low-cost labor."

It was this "bouncing" around that helped drive economic development in emerging markets as different countries became specialists in producing everything from radios to t-shirts.

But that bounce of labour could be coming to an end. Bernstein says: "China is taking a different approach when it comes to how to deal with the mismatch between high-cost employees and low-cost manufacturing. Specifically, China is not getting rid of the work (or not all of it). It is just getting rid of the workers.

…Manufacturing jobs simply aren't being created any more because they are all being taken by China's burgeoning army of factory robots.

In turn, that means roles that would have been shipped overseas to cheaper markets are being done by robots, domestically. Bernstein say: "The ability of new emerging markets to grab these jobs and the export activity that comes with them will be eroded [and] ... will militate in favor of automation and staying in China."

That means other countries that once could have expected to add jobs that service the Chinese manufacturing sector will now never see those jobs — because they're being done by robots inside China.

'The activity may come "home", but there are simply no jobs to steal'

It's not just emerging markets that will feel the change. Bernstein believes the rise of robotics will hit America too.

Tariffs on competing imported goods would have to be huge to eliminate the benefit of both lower labour costs and increased automation going on abroad.

So what's the easiest way for a company to reduce costs? Invest in robotics and eliminate the need to pay wages. Automation is the easiest way to cut costs.


…Economist Guy Standing coined the term "precariat" to refer to people in precarious, low-benefit, and low-paid employment, often driven by technology. Think of Uber drivers and Deliveroo couriers.

Whether the tech "precariat" becomes the new normal or simply a transitional phase during these economic ructions remains to be seen.




China’s robot revolution

Factories in China are replacing humans with robots in a new automation-driven industrial revolution. How will this effect be felt around the globe?

…Nine robots now do the job of 140 full-time workers.

…“These machines are cheaper, more precise and more reliable than people,” says Chen. “I’ve never had a whole batch ruined by robots. I look forward to replacing more humans in future,” he adds, with a wry smile.

Across the manufacturing belt that hugs China’s southern coastline, thousands of factories like Chen’s are turning to automation in a government-backed, robot-driven industrial revolution the likes of which the world has never seen. Since 2013, China has bought more industrial robots each year than any other country, including high-tech manufacturing giants such as Germany, Japan and South Korea. By the end of this year, China will overtake Japan to be the world’s biggest operator of industrial robots, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), an industry lobby group. The pace of disruption in China is “unique in the history of robots,” says Gudrun Litzenberger, general secretary of the IFR, which is based in Germany, home to some of the world’s leading industrial-robot makers.



China, The World’s Automated Factory







edit on 3-4-2017 by soficrow because: format



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 11:10 AM
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originally posted by: BomSquad
a reply to: soficrow

Everytime automation has taken jobs, new industries have sprung up, needing employees. ...

My point is, there is always work for an enterprising individual who is willing to work.



Don't hold your breath. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is very different.




And perhaps once everything is automated, then we will welcome our machine overlords, enter the post-scarcity society, and sit at home watching TV all day eating bon bons and drinking champagne.


It's the transition that looks to be the killer.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 11:20 AM
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originally posted by: seasonal
a reply to: dfnj2015
Anyone who doesn't believe that slave labor isn't a boost go to allibaba .com and check the prices huge corps pay-VS-sell. ...


It's not so much the slave labor any more. See above re: Robotics and Automation in China.


That's where the profits are.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: soficrow

You are wrong and right.

Robots are where MORE profits are.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: soficrow

There is pain in every societal transition whether it is business, religious, technological or expansion related. So far we've managed to weather each transition and I have no doubt we'll weather this transition as well.

The transition should be managed as well as we are able, but it won't be perfect, nothing man has ever done is, but I am sure we'll survive.

Some will win, some will lose and most will just go along for the ride.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 11:49 AM
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One little blurp in the system that supports the power needs of an automated workforce economy will send the entire system into a very abrupt tailspin, leaving those who rely on what that automated economy produces completely unprepared to subsist according to this "Just In Time" / "Gig Economy" that is arising.

Enjoy the benefits of it, if there really are any for you particularly, but remember that you need to prepare for service outages.

I learned this the hard way in Florida during the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005, and will never forget that lesson.

The coming, mostly automated economy, will be more susceptible to disruption than the current and past economies.

...Wait...From my perspective, pretty much everyone around me has failed to prepare for disruption already...

Never Mind.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 12:37 PM
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And just who is going to pay your bills and food bill why you eat your bon bons and drink your champagne? It's easy if your the owner of the firm that the robots do work for. But what about the 150 people you've just sacked?
When there is NO JOBS for them to go to and no opportunities because AI covers them all.
Talking about automation, robots and AI, you do understand how a country, a nation, an economy and a people survive?
Sooner rather than later there will be less tax payers to keep the nation or economy afloat. Then where does the money come from to live any sort of comfortable lives.
Oh yes, robots make life comfortable but for who? Not the working man which makes up the majority of any country.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 12:50 PM
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originally posted by: crayzeed
And just who is going to pay your bills and food bill why you eat your bon bons and drink your champagne?


That's why I mentioned the post-scarcity society.


Post-scarcity is a hypothetical economy in which most goods can be produced in great abundance with minimal human labor needed, so that they become available to all very cheaply or even freely. Post-scarcity is not generally taken to mean that scarcity has been eliminated for all consumer goods and services; instead, it is often taken to mean that all people can easily have their basic survival needs met along with some significant proportion of their desires for goods and services, with writers on the topic often emphasizing that certain commodities are likely to remain scarce in a post-scarcity society.


and a bit of hyperbole....
edit on 3-4-2017 by BomSquad because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 03:34 PM
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a reply to: soficrow

This has been a standard trick from employers for years. Lateral title changes, extra unpaid time off, office competitions for a cheap prize, I've even had employers give me extra overtime work/responsibility and tell me they're paying me with experience in the task (under the threat of do it, or you're fired).

Uber can for example, give more work to higher rated drivers as a reward and pretty much every server is accustomed to the restaurant practice of giving large tables or high tippers to the favorites.

Welcome to capitalism, consumers do the exact same thing from their side with things like Yelp reviews, and before that the BBB.



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 05:27 PM
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a reply to: crayzeed

The "Too few payers" phenomenon is exactly why we are in a global recession right now.

I saw this coming over 30 years ago, but what the heck can just one person do?.

Just say; "Big fake Economy", because an overly large percentage of the economy is the legal system and the prison system, which I saw coming when they began to lower BAC's and hand out drunk driving tickets like candy to force people to buy insurance. Shortly thereafter, when too few saw the pattern, we all have to have insurance to drive at all, then later insurance is required for everything.

If only the stupid capitalist sympathizers realized the entire thing is a socialists wet-dream, and that there is a space in between that would work better.

Stop consenting and the system would be forced to make adjustments, but now we even have a "business douche" president...

There is no government, country, religious organization or industry or anything else that deserves any loyalty at all from anyone, because their only true goal is to exploit everyone for the gain of those who own these institutions.

Ignorance helps the rulers rule by having the slaves govern each other through intimidation and a stupid need to fit into some kind of fictitious group or tribe.

Follow me while I run off this here cliff....



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 08:11 PM
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originally posted by: BomSquad
a reply to: soficrow

There is pain in every societal transition ...but I am sure we'll survive.

Some will win, some will lose and most will just go along for the ride.


I have faith in humanity and hope we'll all come out ahead in the end. But I do envision a protracted transition that is much more than painful.





posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 08:13 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan
a reply to: soficrow

This has been a standard trick from employers for years. Lateral title changes, extra unpaid time off, office competitions for a cheap prize, I've even had employers give me extra overtime work/responsibility and tell me they're paying me with experience in the task (under the threat of do it, or you're fired).

...Welcome to capitalism, consumers do the exact same thing from their side with things like Yelp reviews, and before that the BBB.


True, manipulation is not new.

But this time it's automated - using big data and algorithms for maximum effect. Meaning easy on the coercion and high on the addiction factor. Sneaky.





edit on 3-4-2017 by soficrow because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-4-2017 by soficrow because: (no reason given)




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