For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Labour in the Age of AI: Why Regulation is Needed to Protect Workers"

by Ponce, Aida (2020)


Superpowers, states and companies around the world are all pushing hard to win the AI race. Artificial intelligence (AI) is of strategic importance for the EU, with the European Commission recently stating that ‘artificial intelligence with a purpose can make Europe a world leader’. For this to happen, though, the EU needs to put in place the right ethical and legal framework.This Foresight Brief argues that such a framework must be solidly founded on regulation – which can be achieved by updating existing legislation – and that it must pay specific attention to the protection of workers. Workers are in a subordinate position in relation to their employers, and in the EU’s eagerness to win the AI race, their rights may be overlooked. This is why a protective and enforceable legal framework must be developed, with the participation of social partners.

Key Passage

As surveillance technologies can lead to violations of human dignity and workers’ rights, monitoring and tracking policies need to be clearly justified and discussed on a case-by-case basis. This must cover such aspects as what is possible, what the limits are, and where and how the data collected from the workforce comes from (for instance, private email, social media posts or offline activity). Moreover, the right to disconnect or the right to be unavailable should be respected across the board, as is already the case in some EU countries such as France. (p.10)


Future Of Work, Artificial Intelligence, Regulation, Workers Rights, Ethics, Code Of Conduct, Governance


Political Theory, Law and Work, Capitalism, Automation

Links to Reference



How to contribute.