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

With the development of AI, companies are looking after their own interests by upskilling or reskilling their employees. For workers, acquiring technical skills, although necessary, is not enough. They need to become ‘AI literate’, which is understood as being able to critically understand AI’s role and its impact on their work. This means learning to work alongside AI and to anticipate how AI will transform their career and role at work. Passively using AI systems or tools does not benefit the workers themselves; a certain distance needs to be established for them to see AI’s overall impact and influence. (p.12)


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


Political Theory, Law and Work, Capitalism, Automation

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