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What do automation and AI mean for the future of work?

2nd October 2018
  • ResPublica

Supported by techUK and Tata Consultancy Services

Discussion Summary:

Automation and the evolution of artificial intelligence have created considerable public apprehension, with research predicting that almost 30% of jobs could be at high-risk of being replaced by 2030. But, when utilised effectively, AI and automation can boost productivity (very much needed in the UK), open-up new work opportunities (with two jobs created for each lost to automation, by 2022), and allow humans to perform more meaningful and human-centric tasks.

Whilst there is much to welcome with these developments, there are also clear social and economic questions that must be addressed. In this panel event, we will debate the opportunities and challenges of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ and its effect on the future of work. Can AI enhance rather than replace jobs? If this ‘industrial revolution’ is to create more jobs than those that are displaced like previous technological breakthroughs which sectors are these new opportunities likely to be in? Can we prevent widespread unemployment creating social disruptions, if as anticipated automation polarizes society by removing middle-income jobs, pushing workers into either low-paid manual jobs that machines cannot do or high-skilled creative jobs?

We will also consider how to prepare workers for this future uncertainty. Can we provide job retraining and life-long learning to ensure people are equipped with robust and adaptable skills, and what safety nets might be put in place for those who may fall through the cracks? If greater adoption of artificial intelligence and automation leads to productivity gain will there be the opportunity to reduce working time and move to a four-day-week? Ultimately we’ll be asking what action is needed to ensure the benefits of AI and Automation are fairly shared across the workforce.

We are delighted to be joined by a fantastic panel of speakers, including:

  • Jim Bligh, Corporate Affairs Director, Tata Consultancy Services (Chair)
  • Vicky Ford MP, Co-Chair, The Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (Pictfor)
  • Antony Walker, Deputy CEO, techUK
  • Mike Clancy, General Secretary, Prospect
  • Eliza Easton, Principal Policy Researcher, Creative Economy and Data Analytics, Nesta
  • Tabitha Goldstaub, Co-founder of CognitionX and Chair, AI Council (invited)

Join us at the Library of Birmingham (Room 101) from 5:45pm until 7pm on Tuesday 2nd October.

Regsiter your interest here


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