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The Quantified Self at Work

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Anne Alexander.

Technologies to track work and productivity have a long history, starting with Frederick Taylor’s scientific management and Frank and Lilian Gilbreths’ fatigue and motion studies. While their research took place in industrial conditions, new technologies have emerged that allow for ever more intimate levels of analysis that go into the realm of the body and physiology as well as emotions and even ‘gut reactions’ to situations. This session looks at the new world of work, where surveillance and electronic performance monitoring overlap with health and fitness schemes at work, moving beyond psychometrics and gamification. We will ask what the implications are with the newest technologies of the senses and how data produced are increasingly becoming ways to know the self both by the self and to others. How will we be judged as workers and citizens? Who is this new big brother of performance, wellness and self tracking, and should we be afraid of him?

Dr Phoebe Moore writes about production, technology, and governance. She is a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University in the Law and Politics department and her current research analyses tensions between materiality and quantification as people are being tracked and monitored at work from arthouses to warehouses. Dr Moore’s work looks at new performance enhancement techniques beyond the track, asking to what extent wellness and productivity monitoring with wearable sensory technologies could be used for surveillance over micro-conduct? Are new forms of work monitoring part of the trend toward the gig economy where precarious working life has become the norm?

Open to all but Registration is required:

Organised by Ethics of Big Data Research Group in collaboration with The Work Foundation and InformAll.

This talk is part of the Ethics of Big Data series.

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