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The Society in the Loop newsletter is all about bringing you news from the intersection of tech and society.

And the workplace is arguably one of the areas most in flux in society as a result of technology. Seemingly out of nowhere, almost 3 million people in the UK are now doing ‘gigs’ for digital platforms. 

As with anything new and emerging, sociologists, anthropologists, economists and the like, want to understand more about the potential consequences. This issue's 'work' section features more research on this topic. 

But at Doteveryone, we're also interested in going beyond outlining the problems and presenting some solutions. Because technology, and technological change, can and should benefit more of us, more of the time. 

This is why we're very pleased to announce our latest project - Better Work

We've already been speaking with people across the UK - from Uber drivers in Stoke-on-Trent to cleaners in London to hear and understand their needs. We will then be co-creating prototypes that aim to improve the benefits of platform working whilst reducing the downsides.

We’ll be publishing our initial findings soon, so watch this space...👀

Remember to make sure you're signed up to the main Doteveryone newsletter and follow us on Twitter to stay informed on this and all our other work.

Communications Manager

👨‍💻 Work 👩‍💻 

How much is a steady job worth to you? That’s the difficult question more people are facing as self-employment, flexible working and zero-hours contracts are all on the rise. New research by LSE has attempted to quantify this trade-off, with startling results: British workers would give up 55% of their hourly wage for a permanent contract over a one-month, whilst half of gig economy workers would prefer a more traditional employment arrangement if they had the choice. 

And a new report from the think-tank Onward looks beyond the number of jobs at risk of automation and finds that Britain's regions at high risk of automation are far more likely to have voted leave in the EU referendum. Women and ethnic minorities are also more likely to face being automated out of a job in the future. 

⚖️ Rights and justice 

This weekend saw a technicolour of celebration in London, Madrid and Budapest for Pride. 🏳️‍🌈 The London edition was hailed as the biggest ever, bringing over 1.5 million people together on the streets of the West End. But with this occasion also marking 50 years since the Stonewall riots, LGBTQ+ activists and cops are reflecting on their fraught shared history - leading some to question if police belong at such celebrations at all.

But it's not just the police who've received criticism for their place in Pride. Companies are being called out for jumping on the bandwagon with their “rainbow capitalism”.  And many have called out the naked hypocrisy of Boris Johnson for his tweeted support, pointing out how he had once described gay men as “tank-topped bum boys”.  

🏛️ Public institutions and accountability 

The LGBTQ+ rights movement has achieved a lot in the past 50 years, but there is still work to do, and the potential for facial recognition technology to further exacerbate existing equalities is causing unique concerns for the LGBTQ+ community. The LGBT Tech Partnership was one of over 60 signatories to an open letter last month calling on the US Congress to put a moratorium on the controversial technology.

In the UK, the outcry around the police’s use of facial recognition to surveil the public continues to grow louder. In May, the South Wales police were taken to court for violating the Human Rights Act through their use of the technology. And last week, an independent review criticised nearly every aspect of the Met Police’s facial recognition trial, ranging from technical failings to inadequate oversight.

In June we also joined the call for a moratorium on all live mass-scale facial recognition to put a stop to these issues. Read our Responsible Facial Recognition briefing paper to find out more. 

Collective actions

Paul Routledge discusses the opportunities for connecting climate activists with politicians 🌍

The inside story of open-source investigators Forensic Architecture 🧬

“Capitalism done right”: a co-operative system to solve human problems 🤝

Cool stuff 

🗓️ 24 July: Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Teach us about technology 

🗓️ 3 October: The inaugural anthropology and technology conference takes place in Bristol 

The New York Times have open-sourced their training materials for data journalism 🗞️

...and a little left-field 👈

I didn’t quite catch that: Why we need to communicate more slowly 🐢

A computer-generated virtual influencer (or “Lil Miquela” to her friends) has amassed over 1.6 million followers on Instagram, and “worked” for Prada and Calvin Klein 👠👖

🗣️ Have your say 🗣️

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