Of Techno-Ethics and Techno-Affects

Amrute, Sareeta
Feminist Review

As digital labour becomes more widespread across the uneven geographies of race, gender, class and ability, and as histories of colonialism and inequality get drawn into these forms of labour, our imagination of what these worlds contain similarly needs to expand. Beyond the sensationalist images of the ‘brogrammer’ and the call-centre worker lie intersecting labour practices that bring together histories of bodies and materiality in new ways. In the recent past, these entanglements have yielded oppressive results. As scandals over predictive policing, data mining and algorithmic racism unfold, digital labourers need both to be accounted for in analyses of algorithmic technologies and to be counted among the designers of these platforms. This article attempts to do both of these by highlighting particular cases in which digital labour frames embodied subjects, and to propose ways digital workers might train themselves to recognise ethical problems as they are emerging. I use the idea of attunements as a way to grasp what these forms of care might look like for the digital worker.