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The rise of AI must not mean leaving workers behind

Date

01 Mar 2021

Sections

Innovation & Enterprise

Members of the S&D Group in the AIDA (Artificial Intelligence in the Digital Age) special committee will host this week a debate on Valuing Labour in the age of AI. With a focus on how Artificial Intelligence can complement human labour in the workplace and in general, members will discuss with specialists what are the current challenges and best practices to be implemented.

The debate will be live streamed on www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu, and on our social media channels. Find the full programme here.

In a joint statement, Ibán García del Blanco MEP (S&D AIDA coordinator), Miapetra Kumpula-Natri MEP (1st vice-chair of the AIDA special committee), Tiemo Wölken MEP (S&D JURI coordinator) and Brando Benifei MEP (S&D AIDA shadow rapporteur), said:

“It’s high time we addressed people’s general fear that Artificial Intelligence is here to take over our jobs and increase unemployment. These are legitimate worries, yet what the future will look like now lies in our hands. We need to use the new technology for creating quality jobs for Europeans and to make current jobs more meaningful, not lowering working conditions. AI should complement workers’ jobs and help improve their working conditions and quality of life, such as better allocation of tasks or reduction of exposure to harmful working conditions. We want a ‘human-centric’ and ethical AI, which will guarantee workers’ fundamental freedoms, privacy and safety. An ethical AI ought to be socially responsible and respect gender equality.  We say ‘No’ to tracking and surveillance of workers. We want the social partners to play a crucial role in setting the ethical rules of AI at work and in the workplace, such as better allocation of tasks or reduction of exposure to harmful working conditions. With this in mind, we have embarked on the debate on Valuing Labour in the Age of AI, where we have invited politicians, researchers, and also trade union representatives, to share their views so that we can - together - come up with solutions that leave nobody behind.

“We want to assess the rise of AI both from a labour perspective, but also from a legal one. Because any AI legislation that will come up in the future must take into account the rights of workers. We have always said it - the development of Artificial Intelligence must go hand in hand with the European Pillar of Social Rights.

“Digital literacy is key in securing our future. This is why, by using all means available, from education to awareness-raising campaigns, we must spread the information to our citizens. And any idea is welcome. Therefore, we encourage people to watch our debate and send in questions or initiatives. We will take them all into account.”

 

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