Data as Capital vs Data as Labor

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Study Hacks:

"The current market treats data as capital: the “natural exhaust from consumption to be collected by firms” for use in training their AI-driven golden gooses.

Lanier and company suggest an alternative: data as labor. Put simply, if a major platform monopoly wants your data to help build a multi-billion dollar empire, they must pay you for it. Offering a free service in return is not enough.

The idea of treating data as labor, which might require massive intervention in the form of user unions and government regulation, is an example of a Radical Market, an emerging concept in economic theory in which new markets are constructed specifically to act as countervailing forces to existing markets that are causing trouble.

To Lanier et. al., the data as labor radical market could defend against our worse fears about AI stealing our jobs by more equitably distributing the spoils of this next technological boom — supporting a middle class of “data workers” who find dignified employment in providing the quality data the boom will require." (