Algorithmic Management and democracy at work in the EU. Policy Brief from the INCODING project

Bereich: Arbeit & Chancengleichheit

This policy brief summarises research findings of the INCODING project on the regulation, policies and social partner strategies in addressing artificial intelligence and algorithmic management on the European level and draws some conclusions for policy.

Artificial intelligence and algorithmic management have received increased attention by policy and social partners in the last years, and with the rapid diffusion of ChatGPT and similar tools from 2022 onwards, also by the general public. Whereas opportunities for innovation and progress are celebrated with regard to productivity, resource efficiency, and also health or education, concerns persist over the distribution of productivity gains, job losses that may also affect skilled and knowledge-intensive work, exacerbated discrimination, intrusive surveillance of workers, further expansion of precarious work and poor working conditions on platforms and beyond (“gig work”), and increased inequality.

Policy and social partners should consider the following pointers:

  • A “systemic” and dynamic approach to the governance of AI and AM with regard to the world of work is advisable. This may well require a distinct body of legislation that gives human, social and workers’ rights more of a priority than for example the AI Act, and connects AI governance with the more ambitious legislation on worker rights of information and representation, anti-discrimination and data protection. However, this will require ongoing political pressure.
  • In implementing the AI Act, in the monitoring and advisory bodies, social partner organisations need to be represented in relation to the relevance of the world of work to Europeans.
  • Successful regulation requires attention to enforcement. Here, alignment of supervision and monitoring with existing mechanisms such as labour or OSH inspection on the national level, is likely to be more effective than a multiplication of supervising offices and authorities.
  • Lack of access to technological expertise and knowledge is a challenge to unions, especially smaller and weaker ones that do not organise technology sectors, and those in Central and Eastern Europe. European social partners and policymakers would be well advised to explore ways of connecting technological and workplace expertise and develop infrastructures of consulting and mediation.
  • In shaping technologies in human-centered ways, both policy and public debate need to overcome the dualism of regulation versus innovation. Deregulation has been shopn to encourage externalisation of risk to society at large or to vulnerable groups. Clear and fair regulation that includes some self-assessment and reflexion may encourage innovations. Well-placed “red lines” of unacceptable AI uses, for example, and a stronger commitment to risk prevention than mitigation can save innovators and societies costly mistakes and contribute to directing innovations and investments to socially useful areas.

The policy brief can be downloaded HERE.

AutorInnen: Holtgrewe, U.

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Tags: algorithmic management, artifical intelligence, industrial relations, social partnership

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Kategorie: Online

Publikations Datum: 2024

Bezug: Online (download)