Data Production Labor, data Union


Soon, human manual labour may no longer be necessary. Perhaps machines, thanks to the development of artificial intelligence, will perform even intellectual work. The Institute of Human Obsolescence critically explores this scenario: how can we reinvent the role of humans to cope with a machine-dominated labour market? According to the institution’s vision, new forms of invisible human work may already exist. In the work of “biological labour”, for example, the proposal is a special suit that converts the heat we disperse from our body into energy, transforming it into cryptocurrency. In “Data Production Labour”, on the other hand, the radical objective is to utilise and monetise our personal data. The installation invites participants to perform simple daily operations, showing how platforms and big tech companies exploit our digital traces. Currently, big data presents a significant value proposition for these companies. Why don’t we, the data workers, take advantage of this? The institute proposes a basic fixed income for data workers and stimulates the creation of a virtuous ecosystem of citizens, companies and data producers. For this reason it promotes the creation of a specific union, which develops proposals and political solutions to manage the flow of data in society. Are we ready for this? Chiara Ciociola