Available book reviews for the upcoming issue (Spring 2020)

We are pleased to announce the following recently published book reviews for the upcoming issue, Volume 55 Number 1:

Behind the Screen cover     Surrogate Humanity cover 

Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media, by Sarah T. Roberts
Reviewed by Natalia Kovalyova
"An eye-opening look at the invisible workers who protect us from seeing humanity’s worst on today’s commercial internet. Sarah T. Roberts, an award-winning social media scholar, offers the first extensive ethnographic study of the commercial content moderation industry. Based on interviews with workers from Silicon Valley to the Philippines, at boutique firms and at major social media companies, she contextualizes this hidden industry and examines the emotional toll it takes on its workers. This revealing investigation of the people “behind the screen” offers insights into not only the reality of our commercial internet but the future of globalized labor in the digital age." (Yale University Press)

Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots and the Politics of Technological Futures, by Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora 
Reviewed by Andrea Flores
"In Surrogate Humanity Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora trace the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy. Analyzing myriad technologies, from sex robots and military drones to sharing-economy platforms, Atanasoski and Vora show how liberal structures of antiblackness, settler colonialism, and patriarchy are fundamental to human---machine interactions, as well as the very definition of the human. While these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation. Yet, even as engineers design robots to be more perfect versions of the human—more rational killers, more efficient workers, and tireless companions—the potential exists to develop alternative modes of engineering and technological development in ways that refuse the racial and colonial logics that maintain social hierarchies and inequality." (Duke University Press)