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The Invisible ‘Ghost’ Labor Powering Our Daily Lives: NPR

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Incognito.

The technology that powers many apps and services seems automatic. But anthropologist Mary L. Gray explains how there are millions of hidden workers behind the screen who are key to making it all work.

About Mary L Gray

mary l gray is a senior principal investigator at Microsoft Research and an associate professor at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He also holds a teaching position at Indiana University.

In 2020, she was named a MacArthur Fellow for her work in anthropology and the study of technology and society.

He has written several books, including In Your Face: Life Stories of Queer Youth other In the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America. In 2019, Mary co-wrote with computer scientist Siddharth Suri the book Ghost Job: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass.

In 2004, Gray earned his doctorate in communication from the University of California, San Diego.

This TED Radio Hour segment was produced by Katherine Sypher and edited by James Delahoussaye. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at


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