On February 7, PRG’s own Kathryn Taylor published a new piece building Professor Veena Dubal’s article about the gamification of gig work (discussed during the January 23 session of PRG). The article examines the algorithmic transformation of gig worker pay through the lens of dark patterns. The “unpredictable, variable, and personalized” pay structures created by algorithmic labor management, Taylor argues, not only keeps gig workers in a state of highly surveilled precarity, but also manipulates workers into providing additional services. 

On February 6, Google announced its AI chatbot, Bard. Launched to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s new AI-powered Bing search, it confidently presented a factual error in its first demonstration. Such errors highlight the fact that, for all their power, large language model AI still frequently make up information from thin air. 

On February 7, President Biden called for stricter protections of personal data use and collection, as well as a ban on targeting advertising towards children in his State of the Union address. This came as part of a broader push to limit the power of Big Tech, including calls for stronger antitrust enforcement.

(Compiled by Student Fellow Justin Jin)