Robot report has ‘forgotten the humans’

A new report on the automation of work in the public sector overlooks the threat to jobs, the Unite union warned yesterday.

Unite said that Artificial Intelligence & Public Standards, a governmental advisory committee’s analysis of how robot techology could change the public sector, “has forgotten about the humans.”

Executive officer Sharon Graham said: “It’s astounding that an in-depth report on artificial intelligence and ethics in the public sector has been produced without any consideration of the risk new technologies could have on public-sector workers’ livelihoods.

“There are over five million workers employed in the public sector, including the NHS and local authorities, where many jobs are at a high risk of automation.”

Ms Graham pledged that Unite would fight to ensure that new technology was “used to do things that help public-sector workers and their families, such as reducing working time without loss of pay.”

This news item originally appeared in the Morning Star on February 12th

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