Would you work for a machine?

22 | Would you work for a machine? Some people are working for a machine right now, although they may not be aware of it. Could you be one of them? In this episode, I discuss humans and machines working together and its effect on the future of work.

Subscribe to this podcast via your favorite podcast platform!

About the host:

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group and a host of startup companies. During his tenure with Randstad Sourceright, he alleviated the recruitment headaches of their clients worldwide as their Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy.  He now serves ClickIQ as its VP, Product Evangelist.


Would you work for a machine? Some people are working for a machine right now, although they may not be aware of it. Could you be one of them? I discuss humans and machines working together and its effect on the future of work; right after this message.

I have a question for Talent Acquisition Managers, how many jobs do you advertise a year? 100? 500? 10,000 or more? If so, let me give you a tip on how to maximize your job adverting budget. And that tip is, ClickIQ.

ClickIQ’s automated job advertising platform manages, tracks and optimizes the performance of your job advertising in real time, focusing your money where it’s needed most to reach both active and passive job seekers across Indeed, Google, Facebook, Instagram and an extensive network of job boards.

So, talent acquisition managers, if you want to make sure you are getting the most value out of your job advertising budget, I highly suggest you check out ClickIq online at www.clickiq.us. Or, you can email me directly. My email is jim at-click-dot-us

That’s right! I was so impressed by the technology behind ClickIQ that I joined the company. I think you will be impressed as well. Again, on the web – www.clickiq.us or email me directly jim at-click-dot-us.

You’ll be glad you did.

Do you know what algorithmic management is? According to the Data and Society Research Institute, “Algorithmic management is a diverse set of technological tools and techniques to remotely manage workforces, relying on data collection and surveillance of workers to enable automated or semi-automated decision-making.” Translation: Instead of working for the man, you are working for the machine.

  • Services like Uber and Lyft exert what some call “continuous, soft surveillance” through data collection of drivers’ behaviors, which is fed into automated performance reports. While drivers have the freedom to log in or log out of work at will, once they’re online, their activities on the platform are heavily monitored. For instance, drivers’ movements are tracked using GPS location, and other behaviors such as acceleration, working hours, and braking habits are monitored through their phones. All of that data is not only used to evaluate drivers but also to influence their behavior. For example, Uber’s “surge pricing” system. At certain times, in certain locations, both riders and drivers receive notification that rides will be provided at higher rates, thus nudging more drivers to be available in a high-demand location. Such a system reveals how algorithms can cause disaggregated work forces, supposedly independent and flexible, to behave in ways that are good for the company as a whole. [Source: Data and Society]
  • In 2016, UPS drivers began receiving driving directives from ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation), an algorithm developed internally by UPS to optimize delivery routes by finding the most time-and cost-effective trip routes for a delivery. The company claims the algorithm has reduced unnecessary delivery truck travel by 100 million miles annually. [Source: Data and Society]
  • Percolata is a company that installs sensors in shops that measure the volume and type of customers flowing in and out, combines that with data on the amount of sales per employee, and calculates what it describes as the “true productivity” of a shop worker: a measure it calls “shopper yield”, or sales divided by traffic. Percolata then gives management a list of employees ranked from lowest to highest by shopper yield. Its algorithm builds profiles on each employee — when do they perform well? When do they perform badly? It learns whether some people do better when paired with certain colleagues, and worse when paired with others. It uses weather, online traffic and other signals to forecast customer traffic in advance. Then it creates a schedule with the optimal mix of workers to maximise sales for every 15-minute slot of the day. Managers press a button and the schedule publishes to employees’ personal smartphones. People with the highest shopper yields are usually given more hours. [Source: Financial Times]

There has been a lot of concern about robots taking jobs away. If you were to do a search engine search on “robots verses whatever your job title is” no doubt, you would see lots and lots and lots of articles detailing how the machines were taken over, stealing jobs away and basically destroying your life. With respect, any alarms of progress will not stymie progress. In an earlier century, people protested the steam engine, the cotton gin, the spinning jenny because the new technology threated their way of life. Long story short, civilization advanced and – spoiler alert, it will continue to do so. And with the case of robots and automation, that’s not a bad thing.

  • Daniela Rus is the, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. She was speaking at a conference on the future of work and had this to say.
  • And this from CNN Business, Unbabel, a Lisbon-based startup, combines AI technology with human expertise to perfect language translation. Here’s a clip
  • And one more, this time from CNBC.  They interview Tom Doris of Liquidnet who says artificial intelligence should be seen as a tool for human decision makers in investments, and should not be seen as an automated process.

So, should we all relax about the machines taking over the workplace and just, get used to it? Well, yes, as long as human beings are part of the process.  The moment you remove people from the decision- making process and put your trust solely in machines and algorithms; then you have legitimate cause to be concerned about the future of work.  At least, I think so. What do you think? Leave a comment, I want to know.

If you love what you heard, hate what you heard or, don’t know what you just heard, I want to know about it. You can leave a comment concerning this podcast on my website at www.JimStroud.com. In addition to finding source material and related information for this podcast episode, you’ll find other goodies that I hope will make you smile. And if you have not already, please subscribe to my website. Your continued support keeps  this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

Links related to this episode:


Artist: Redafs https://bit.ly/2MQ2pK8 Title: Our Inspiring Corporate (Free Download Background Music) Genre: Pop https://bit.ly/2JW7I9S Mood: Inspirational https://bit.ly/2uu324Q

Dj Quads – Grows Up (Non-Copyrighted Music) http://j.mp/2uttdt1

Follow me on Social Media: