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About the event

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In the recent book she co-authored, Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass, Mary L. Gray exposes the invisible human workforce that powers the web. The reliance on on-demand workers to help AI systems run, Gray argues, has only increased during the pandemic, further eroding full-time employment and benefits. Will the post-COVID society create new forms of ghost work, or can technical innovation assist and empower human labor, such as that of trusted health care workers? Gray—a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research, and a faculty associate at Harvard University—addresses these urgent questions.

Mary L. Gray

Mary L. Gray
is Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. She maintains a faculty position in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering with affiliations in Anthropology and Gender Studies at Indiana University. Mary, an anthropologist and media scholar by training, focuses on how people’s everyday uses of technologies transform labor, identity, and human rights. She sits on several boards, including Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research and the California Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, in addition to chairing the Microsoft Research Ethics Review Program—the only federally-registered institutional review board of its kind in the tech industry. In 2020, Mary was named a MacArthur Fellow for her contributions to anthropology and the study of technology, digital economies, and society.

Organized and hosted by The Center for the Study of Women and Society, and co-sponsored with Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS), The Center for Humanities, The Graduate Center PhD Program in Anthropology, The Feminist Press, The Graduate Center Library, the PublicsLab, and Public Programs.