Employee or Datapoint?

24:26 minutes

A recent investigation by The New York Times revealed the ways Amazon measures and monitors employees at its headquarters, crunching data to reveal who is most efficient and deserving of promotion—and who isn’t. But this gamification of the workplace is far from new. As Esther Kaplan and Karen Levy write, UPS drivers, truckers, authors, and retail clerks are also subjected to the tracking power of technology—and the outcomes aren’t always good. And some workplaces are outfitting employees with wearables, which Andre Spicer argues isn’t always an effective—or ethical—solution.

Segment Guests

Esther Kaplan

Esther Kaplan as an editor at The Investigative Fund, a non-profit reporting workshop in New York, New York.

Karen Levy

Karen Levy is a fellow at the Data and Society Research Institute in New York, New York.

Andre Spicer

Andre Spicer is a professor of organizational behavior at City University London’s Cass Business School, in London, England.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.