Microwork Platforms (INDL-1 Conference)

Microwork platforms: a challenge for artificial intelligence, a challenge for employment?

Two days to discuss micro-work from policy and academic perspectives

In the wake of digitalization and artificial intelligence, what role do microtasking platforms play in the transformation of work?


Day 1 (Policy perspectives, 13 June 2019).

Day 2 (Academic perspectives, 14 June 2019).


Download the conference program (pdf).


France Stratégie, MSH-Paris Saclay, and INDL (International Network on Digital Labor), convene a two-day international conference in Paris on June 13-14, 2019.

The event will include a « meet the microworkers » panel on June 13, where workers, platform owners and client companies will take the stage, as well as the first INDL PhD workshop on June 14. There will also be presentations of the results of national and international surveys on these emerging forms of work, and discussions with French and international academic and institutional experts, as well as worker representatives.

After Uber, Deliveroo and other on-demand services, microwork is a new form of labor mediated by digital platforms. Internet and mobile services recruit crowds to perform small, standardized and repetitive tasks on behalf of corporate clients, in return for fees ranging from few cents to few euros. These tasks generally require low skills: taking a picture in a store, recognizing and classifying images, transcribing bits of text, formatting an electronic file… Despite their apparent simplicity, these micro-tasks performed by millions of people around the world, are crucial to create the databases needed to calibrate and « train » artificial intelligence algorithms.

Internationally, Amazon Mechanical Turk is the most widely known micro-work platform. In France and in French-speaking Africa, other platforms are attracting a growing number of workers to supplement or even substitute for their primary income. How widespread is the phenomenon? How to recognize, organize and regulate this new form of work? How, finally, does it relate to traditional forms of employment?

Presentations and discussions on Day 1 will be held in French and English, with simultaneous translation. For Day 2 presentations and discussions will be in English.


Conference speakers include:


Mariya Aleksynska, IZA

Gilles Babinet, CNNum

Daniel Benoilid, co-founder of Wirk / Foulefactory

Marguerita Lane, OECD

Antonio Casilli, Telecom ParisTech & DiPLab project

Alessandro Delfanti, University of Toronto

Joseph Dureau, CTO of Snips

Ulrich Laitenberger, Telecom ParisTech

Vili Lehdonvirta, Oxford Internet Institute

Clément Le Ludec, MSH Paris Saclay

Johan Lindquist, University of Stockholm

Anoush Margaryan, Copenhagen Business School

Gilles de Margerie, Commissioner General of France Stratégie

Florian Alexander Schmidt, Dresden University of Technology

Paola Tubaro, CNRS & DiPLab project

Patricia Vendramin, Catholic University of Louvain

Louis-Charles Viossat, IGAS

Thiebaut Weber, former Confederal Secretary, CES

Niels Van Doorn, University of Amsterdam


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