Cooperating with Algorithms in the Workplace

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* Article: Cooperating with Algorithms in the Workplace. Sally A. Applin and Michael D. Fischer. University of Kent, Canterbury, Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing



"The algorithmic landscape is highly heterogeneous. Lack of awareness with regard to the construction and deployment of algorithms can lead those unfamiliar with algorithms, to assume that they are homogenous and therefore interchangeable. Current approaches to planning and implementing algorithmic process automation in the workplace are rooted in high computational support, with the resulting process aggregations often well beyond the view and scope of any human within the process, including the planners and implementers. The emergent aggregate layer of this abstraction, distributed across a wide spectrum of individual companies, developers, protocols, machines, ideas, regions, and applications is collated by people through experiences and controls, many of which may live on mobile devices, kiosks, robots, or other interactive platforms in the environment. Cooperation is disrupted when people are bound by scripts, processes and algorithms that are inflexible and restrict their agency to solve problems and complete tasks. We suggest increasing trust in humans as a management strategy to foster cooperation with analog and digital algorithms, and productions in the workplace."