Data Workers‘ Inquiry

The Data Workers’ Inquiry is a community-based research project in which data workers join us as community researchers to lead their own inquiry in their respective workplaces. The community researchers guide the direction of the research, such that it is oriented towards their needs and goals of building workplace power but supported by formally trained qualitative researchers. We adapt Marx’s 1880 Workers’ Inquiry to the phenomenon of data workers who are both essential for contemporary AI applications yet precariously employed—if at all—and politically dispersed.

data workers worldwide report on their workplaces

The Inquiries

15 data workers in Venezuela, Kenya, Syria, and Germany conducting research with their colleagues in their respective workplaces and reporting on labor conditions and widespread practices in the AI industry. Explore the inquiries below!

Data Work beyond data work

Invited Pieces

Artists, translators, writers, nurses, and internet users produce data for AI without compensation. As part of the Data Workers‘ Inquiry, workers collectives describe how they organize to fight power concentration and exploitation in the tech industry.

meet the team


We are the organizing team developing a methodology and a platform for data workers to conduct individual inquiries. We provide guidance and training in specific data collection and analysis methods, and constantly monitor the legal and ethical boundaries of the inquiries.

Adio Dinika
Krystal Kauffman
Turkopticon, DAIR
Camilla Salim Wagner
Weizenbaum Institute
Laurenz Sachenbacher
TU Berlin

The Data workers' Inquiry

Supported by amazing people:

Videography: Petros Teka

Website: Lena Pohlmann, David Hartmann, Marc Pohl

Events production and support: Max Rech, Christie Taylor

Copy editing: Nicholas Rodelo

Graphic design: Heitor Bonan, Pauline Wee

Illustrations: Marc Pohl, Kevin Makinya Kaunda, Pauline Wee

Animations: Vladimir L. Ochoa-Andrade

Funded by

The Dair Logo. Entagled squares in black with the name next to it.
The logo of the Weizenbaum Institute. Two black backslashes with the institutes name on the right of it.
Logo of Technische Universität Berlin. A black an big TU with the universities name on the left of it.
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