Message posted on 05/06/2023

Invitation: VUB Chair in Surveillance Studies Seminar XVII with Karen Levy (Cornell University) - Robotruckers: The Double Threat of AI for Low-Wage Work

                Dear all,

I am delighted to invite you all to our upcoming and last seminar of the
academic year where we invite Karen Levy (Cornell University) for a seminar
entitled 'Robotruckers: The Double Threat of AI for Low-Wage Work'.
The seminar takes place online June 14 from 3PM - 4.30PM CET. As always
registration is free. If you haven't done so already and wish to attend the
seminar, please do register here:

Please feel free to distribute the flyer (attached) and registration to those
who might be interested.

Abstract and biography:

Much attention has been paid to the risk artificial intelligence poses to
employment, particularly in low-wage industries. Long-haul truck driving is
perceived as a prime target for such displacement, due to the fast-developing
technical capabilities of autonomous vehicles, characteristics of trucking
labor, and the political economy of the industry. In most of the public
rhetoric about the threat of the self-driving truck, the trucker is seen as a
displaced party. He is displaced both physically and economically: removed
from the cab of the truck, and from his means of economic provision. But the
reality is more complicated. The intrusion of automation into the truck cab
certainly presents a threat to the trucker, but the threat is not solely or
even primarily experienced as displacement. The trucker is still in the cab,
doing the work of truck driving-but he is joined there by intelligent systems
that monitor his body directly. As more trucking firms integrate such
technologies into their safety programs, truckers are not being displaced by
intelligent systems so much as they are experiencing the emergence of
intelligent systems as a compelled hybridization, a very intimate incursion
into their work and bodies. This talk considers the dual, conflicting
narratives of job replacement by robots and of bodily integration with robots,
to assess the true range of AI's potential effects on low-wage work.

Karen Levy is an associate professor of
Information Science at Cornell University and associated faculty at Cornell
Law School. Her new book, Data Driven: Truckers, Technology, and the New
Surveillance, offers a behind-the-scenes look at how surveillance and automation are
affecting the trucking way of life.

We hope to see many of you June 14th!

In case you should have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to get in

Kind regards,
Bram Visser
PhD Candidate at the VUB Chair in Surveillance Studies


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