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Online Work

Employment facilitated by networked technology is transforming the way we work. In the U.S. alone, 600k people participate in online gig-economy—also known as crowd work—and the number of workers is growing rapidly (data from 2015). Crowd work's remote and asynchronous work style, unbounded by time and location, extends the contemporary office work, enabling people with disabilities, at-home parents, and temporarily out-of-work people to work.

At the same time, however, many are concerned that employers in these labor markets mistreat workers. Concerns about low earnings on crowd work platforms have been voiced repeatedly. Given the potential benefits and drawbacks of this new way of work, we study what opportunities online crowd work and gig-economy offer and what new challenges they create for people, particularly for those who have disabilities. We then design and develop technologies that mitigate and solve the problems.

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