Credit: Timothée Andonian / Iméra
Artificial Intelligence and the Relationship with Work.
Can there be an Artificial Intelligence in the service of work and workers?
Summary of the research project
Ewan Oiry’s research project, conducted at the Iméra, the Institute for Advanced Study of Aix-Marseille University, aims to explore current evolutions in the relationship between individuals and society regarding work. The project focuses on management devices that mediate recent forms of work relationships. By emphasizing artificial intelligence tools, the study examines how these devices transform work and explores the conditions for designing artificial intelligence in the service of workers. To achieve this, Ewan Oiry employs Simondon’s conceptual framework for an original analysis of algorithmic management and its implications on work, skills, the emotions and subjectivities of workers, as well as ethical considerations. This article summarizes the main axes and objectives of this innovative research.
Algorithmic Management: A Novel Hybridization
The term “artificial intelligence” has sparked excessive hopes, but reality has shown its limitations compared to human intelligence. Ewan Oiry thus suggests using the concept of “algorithmic management” to describe computer programs that make decisions or offer choices to employees, thereby transforming their work. Levy’s approach emphasizes that this human-machine hybridization aims not to replace humans but rather to “augment” them by providing alternatives and alerts. However, integrating the recommendations of algorithmic management remains a challenge as humans may encounter difficulties in considering them while maintaining a critical capacity towards these proposals.
Simondon’s Conceptual Framework: An Innovative Approach
Ewan Oiry proposes adopting Simondon’s analytical framework to understand how algorithmic management transforms and is transformed by the relationship between individuals and society regarding work. This framework enables capturing the specifics of work, the skills involved, as well as the emotions and subjectivities generated in workers by this new form of management. The analysis will also involve an international comparison to enrich the perspective and include the omnipresent ethical dimension of algorithmic management.
Research Axes and Objectives
The research project revolves around four main axes:
- Analysis of Work and Skills: A precise investigation of work will provide insights into how algorithmic management transforms task content and required skills.
- Subjectivities and Emotions: The study will focus on the emotions experienced by workers due to algorithmic management, drawing on existing research on the role of emotions in the use of management tools.
- International Comparison: By comparing algorithmic management in France and Quebec, the research will offer a valuable comparative dimension.
- Multilevel Analysis: The study will propose a multilevel analysis to highlight dynamics between individual, collective, organizational, inter-organizational, and societal levels.
Ewan Oiry is a professor of Human Resource Management at ESG-UQAM. His research focuses on competence management, particularly exploring the links between management devices and the work of employees and managers, team dynamics, and organizational strategy. He has published numerous articles and books on these topics. Additionally, he is involved in studying the uses of computer technologies. Currently, his work revolves around the impact of Artificial Intelligence on individual and collective skills, jobs, and organizations. He is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of the @GRH (ranked FNEGE 3) and the journal Communication & Management (ranked FNEGE 4 and in Information and Communication Sciences).