Revenge of the Chickenized Reverse-Centaurs

Algorithms and worker power

A horse-headed “reverse-centaur” whose eye has been replaced by the glowing eye of HAL9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. They are wearing a hi-viz vest and posed in shelving-aisles of an industrial warehouse.
Cryteria, CC BY, modified

In AI circles, a “centaur” describes a certain kind of machine/human collaboration, in which “decision-support” systems (which the field loves to call “AI”s) are paired with human beings for results that draw upon the strengths of each, such as when a human chess master and a chess-playing computer program collaborate to smash their competition.

In labor circles, “chickenization” refers to exploitative working arrangements that resemble the plight of the American poultry farmer. The U.S. poultry industry has been taken over by three monopolistic packers, who have divided the nation up into exclusive territories, so that each chicken farmer has only one buyer for their birds.

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