Activity tagged "workers' rights"

Here's the problem: establishing that AI training requires a copyright license will not stop AI from being used to erode the wages and working conditions of creative workers. The companies suing over AI training are also notorious exploiters of creative workers, union-busters and wage-stealers.
Telling creative workers that they can solve their declining wages with more copyright is a denial that creative workers are workers at all. It treats us as entrepreneurial small businesses, LLCs with MFAs negotiating B2B with other companies. That's how we lose.
On the other hand, if we address the problems of AI and labor as workers, and insist on labor rights – like the Writers Guild did when it struck last summer – then we ally ourselves with every other worker whose wages and working conditions are being attacked with AI.
Our path to better working conditions lies through organizing and striking, not through helping our bosses sue other giant multinational corporations for the right to bleed us out.
Here's the problem: establishing that AI training requires a copyright license will not stop AI from being used to erode the wages and working conditions of creative workers. The companies suing over AI training are also notorious exploiters of creative workers, union-busters and wage-stealers.
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But instead we’re all-in on deskilling the industry. Not content with removing CSS and HTML almost entirely from the job market, we’re now shifting towards the model where devs are instead “AI” wranglers. The web dev of the future will be an underpaid generalist who pokes at chatbot output until it runs without error, pokes at a copilot until it generates tests that pass with some coverage, and ships code that nobody understand and can’t be fixed if something goes wrong. If you think companies are going to pay “AI” wranglers senior-level pay in the long term, or that they’re going to pay for the time it takes to rewrite or properly comprehend the code being generated, then you’re missing the point of why employers are adopting the technology. The point is to pay fewer of us less: replace senior coders with junior, specialists with generalists, and the trained with untrained. We’re left in a world where we still suffer from the same anxiety, pressure, and burnout as before. Except this time we get paid less, if we have a job at all. This is an obviously worse way of making software. It makes for software that’s less reliable, less effective, and less productive for the end user.
The components sourced from an intern fixing ChatGPT’s output just enough for it to run and the exhaustively tested ones from a senior developer are equivalent in the eyes of management.
And one is much, much cheaper than the other.
If you’re unlucky enough to have to use any of this garbage we’re shipping and calling ‘software’, now you know why it all feels a bit shit.
If you work as a software developer, it means employers will continue to emphasise frameworks over functionality because that makes you easier to replace. They will sacrifice software security to make your job easier to outsource. They will let their own businesses suffer by shipping substandard software because they believe they can recoup those losses at your expense.
This is what unions were made for
The evolution of software development over the past decade has been very frustrating. Little of it seems to makes sense, even to those of us who are right in the middle of it.