Algorithms and the Future of Work

An algorithm is a series of precise, step-by-step instructions used by a machine to perform a mathematical operation.[1] The use of algorithm-enabled systems and devices will bring many benefits to occupational safety and health but, as with many new technologies, there are also risks to workers. A new commentary in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine focuses on new sources of worker risk that algorithms present in the use of worker management systems, advanced sensor technologies, and robotic devices. Determining if an algorithm is safe for workplace use is rapidly becoming a challenge for manufacturers, programmers, employers, workers, and occupational