AI Infodemic Speaker Series: "Injustice by Design: A Chicana/Latina feminist analysis of Amazon’s ACX labor platform" (Ruth L. Nuñez)

The future of creative work depends on the decisions and actions we take today, as well as on the voices and perspectives that are included in these processes. In this era of convergence media, the lack of regulatory frameworks and strong worker protections are allowing digital labor platform providers to reshape both online and offline labor structures and culture without accountability to the workers nor to the greater public. In the commercial audiobook arena, Amazon holds a virtual monopoly. It achieves this through the vertical integration of book publishing (APub), audiobook production (Audio Creation Exchange or ACX), and its audiobook distribution (Audible) platforms. Employing a Cultures of Production methodology and a Chicana/Latina feminist framework, the speaker interrogates the ways in which power asymmetries are embedded into the value laden design of its ACX labor platform. The findings reveal the ways in which its design serves to manufacture authenticity in order to seem trustworthy to prospective workers, keeping labor and labor relations within Amazon’s gaze and control, and how it participates in (re)structuring the labor of audiobook narrators into a form of precarious labor. The speaker will conclude by reimagining alternative more inclusive and worker-centered audiobook labor platforms that are informed by Chicana/Latina feminist epistemologies.

Co-organizers: MS/LIS student Sarah Appedu and Affiliate Professor Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, professor and coordinator for information literacy services and instruction in the University Library

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Questions? Contact Sarah Appedu.

This event is sponsored by HRI Research Cluster: AI & Society: Privacy, Ethics and (Dis)Information