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  1. In response to the COVID-19 crises, many local TV newsrooms decided to have employees work from home (WFH) or the field rather than from the newsroom. From a review of research on telework, we identified possible impacts of WFH on worker effectiveness, conceptualized as including output, individual satisfaction and growth, and group well-being. From a case study of a local TV newsroom and interviews with news directors, we found that WFH was successful in creating a newscast, albeit with some concerns about story quality. However, WFH did not seem to satisfy workers individually or as a group. The current lifting of restrictions on gatherings might mitigate some of the experienced problems, but we expect to see challenges to news worker learning with continued WFH.
  2. Occupations, like many other social systems, are hierarchical. They evolve with other elements within the work ecosystem including technology and skills. This paper investigates the relationships among these elements using an approach that combines network theory and modular systems theory. A new method of using work related data to build occupation networks and theorize occupation evolution is proposed. Using this technique, structural properties of occupations are discovered by way of community detection on a knowledge network built from labor statistics, based on more than 900 occupations and 18,000 tasks. The occupation networks are compared across the work ecosystem as well as over time to understand the interdependencies between task components and the coevolution of occupation, tasks, technology, and skills. In addition, a set of conjectures are articulated based on the observations made from occupation structure comparison and change over time.
  3. In the artificial intelligence era, algorithmic journalists can produce news reports in natural language from structured data thanks to natural language generation (NLG) algorithms. This paper presents several algorithmic content generation models and discusses the impacts of algorithmic journalism on work within a framework consisting of three levels: replacing tasks of journalists, increasing efficiency, and developing new capabilities within journalism. The findings indicate that algorithmic journalism technology may lead some changes in journalism by enabling individual users to produce their own stories. This paper may contribute to an understanding of how algorithmic news is created and how algorithmic journalism technology impacts work.
  4. Autonomous, intelligent tools are reshaping all sorts of work practices, including innovative design work. These tools generate outcomes with little or no user intervention and produce designs of unprecedented complexity and originality, ushering profound changes to how organizations will design and innovate in future. In this paper, we formulate conceptual foundations to analyze the impact of autonomous design tools on design work. We proceed in two steps. First, we conceptualize autonomous design tools as ‘rational’ agents which will participate in the design process. We show that such agency can be realized through two separate approaches of information processing: symbolic and connectionist. Second, we adopt control theory to unpack the relationships between the autonomous design tools, human actors involved in the design, and the environment in which the tools operate. The proposed conceptual framework lays a foundation for studying the new kind of material agency of autonomous design tools in organizational contexts. We illustrate the analytical value of the proposed framework by drawing on two examples from the development of Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Wildlands video game, which relied on such tools. We conclude this essay by constructing a tentative research agenda for the research into autonomous design tools and design work.
  5. The increased pervasiveness of technological advancements in automation makes it urgent to address the question of how work is changing in response. Focusing on applications of machine learning (ML) to automate information tasks, we draw on a simple framework for identifying the impacts of an automated system on a task that suggests 3 patterns for the use of ML—decision support, blended decision making and complete automation. In this paper, we extend this framework by considering how automation of one task might have implications for interdependent tasks and how automation applies to coordination mechanisms.