Machine learning case studies

In this report we explore how machine learning (ML) is being used in the workplace in twenty-first century Britain through three case studies: 

  1. Hiring systems – drawing out key challenges arising from the increasingly common use of ML systems in hiring.
  2. Job advertising – exploring the tension between the use of social media by people in their private lives, and the use of social media profiles by employers through the practice of targeted advertising.
  3. Talent management – drawing out the challenges arising from the use of automated employee management and monitoring in order to enforce productivity and save costs.

The cases are hypothetical, involving fictional companies, decision-makers and technical details, but they are based on existing research and real-world use cases. The case studies are designed to develop public understanding of how machine learning is used in the workplace, to identify key questions and advance policy response in ways that would not otherwise be possible.

The case studies were first developed to support the work of the Equality Task Force. The final report of the Task Force – Mind the gap – was published in October 2020.

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Institute for the Future of Work

Publication type

Policy brief


Shifting power

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