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Independent Era™ Roundup – Episode 2

August 7, 2023

Welcome to the Independent Era™ Roundup. Each episode, we share the things you absolutely need to know about the gig economy and modern talent—from industry news and media analysis to labor trends and customer insights—you’ll learn why the gig economy is transforming work culture. You can also find (subscribe to) this feed on the Gig Wage LinkedIn page.

Upwork and OpenAI Partnership Highlights Industry's Need for Gender Diversity in AI

Excerpt from an article by PYMNTS.

“Providing customers with access to a trusted source of highly skilled global talent like Upwork can help ensure AI models are deployed and managed responsibly.” – Aliisa Rosenthal, Head of Sales at OpenAI.

Upwork collaborates with OpenAI to launch OpenAI Experts on Upwork, a platform providing businesses with AI professionals. 

Now, look closer. 

Initial listings feature only male experts, spotlighting the technology industry's ongoing struggle with gender diversity. As AI application grows, the need for diverse perspectives to prevent system biases also intensifies.

Screenshot taken from Upwork, August, 7 2023.

Full story: Upwork and OpenAI Team to Help Companies Find AI Experts

The Gig Economy's ID Checkmate

Excerpt from an article by Ben Chapman for Gig Wage.

“Verifying the identities of your 1099 workers instills confidence and builds trust with your clients, partners, and customers. Demonstrating a commitment to due diligence and security reassures stakeholders that you prioritize their interests and take measures to protect their sensitive information. Trust is a valuable asset that strengthens relationships and enhances your business reputation.”

In this gig economy age, it's critical to verify the identity of freelancers before payment, benefiting legal compliance, fraud prevention, and cybersecurity. This article shows that such processes build trust, protect sensitive information, safeguard intellectual property, and bolster overall workforce management.

Full story: Secure Gig Workers: 9 Reasons to Prioritize Identity Verification (Prepayment)

Side Hustles Killed Leisure Time?

Excerpt from an article by Eve Upton-Clark for Insider.

“But in a time of high inflation and pessimism about the economy, seeking a way to bring in a bit of extra cash makes sense for a lot of people. The shifting landscape of the job market has resulted in a significant number of young people finding themselves in the gig economy.”

Upton-Clark delivers a critique of the side hustle culture, arguing against the rampant monetization of leisure activities. The article emphasizes the importance of preserving hobbies for personal joy and wellbeing, resisting a socio-economic system that commodifies every aspect of our lives. It's a cautionary tale of unchecked productivity.

Full story: The death of hobbies

Cash for Cuddles

Excerpt from an article for Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.

“In today’s world, earning a living doesn’t always follow the traditional 9-to-5 job format. With the rise of the gig economy and the ever-evolving nature of work, people have discovered unconventional and often peculiar ways to make money. From testing apps to getting paid for professional sleeping, these unique ventures prove that there are numerous paths to earning an honest paycheck.”

This somewhat tongue in cheek article illustrates the rise of non-traditional money making in the evolving gig economy. Unveiling unique ventures like professional sleeping, app testing, pet modeling, and even cuddling services. It really spotlights the diversity in today's professional landscape.

Full story: Beyond the 9-to-5: unusual ways people make money

Unscripted Reality

Excerpt from an article by Reis Thebault for The Washington Post.

““Just a few months ago, the 43-year-old felt closer than ever to his Hollywood dream. He had landed parts in several television shows and a Lifetime movie. He had a supportive agent and a little momentum. Then came the strikes, first by writers and then by actors, which shut down the industry, stalled his career and forced him to pick up odd jobs like tidying apartments for friends.”

Thebault paints a vivid picture of the struggles and uncertainties faced by those like Josh Hooks, thrust into gig work out of necessity rather than choice. While the article accurately portrays actors' struggles during Hollywood's double strike, it overly emphasizes negatives. It could balance the narrative by highlighting the gig economy as a financial lifeline, potential industry changes due to strikes, and the resilience and community support rising amidst adversity.

Full story: His Hollywood star was finally rising. Now he cleans apartments


Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the next Independent Era™ Roundup. In the meantime if you stumble across a story you think we need to cover, email us: marketing[at]gigwage[dot]com