Day: 21 May 2017
How artificial intelligence will change the future of government
There is no reason to think that governments as organisations are any less vulnerable to the disruptive effects of automation than other kinds of organisations. As process delivery organisations, they are not fundamentally different from other process delivery organisations, and are certainly not immune to the pressures which are reshaping them (though they may be slower to respond to changing expectations). How far, though, might AI take over the policy development functions of government? More than you might think, is the argument here, asserting that governments have a moral obligation to make the best use of AI.
Good Gigs: A fairer future for the UK’s gig economy
The growing gig economy is often associated with low wages and exploitation, with the flexibility it offers advantaging the employer rather than the worker (and as one of the speakers at the recent RSA event said, flexibility is fine, so long as it works in both directions). Some of that is to do with ambiguities in legal status which haven’t kept pace with the changing labour market, but some of it is about power imbalances – another reflection of the changing relationship between technology and work. This report attempts to answer the question of what a good gig economy would look like, with government given the primary role for creating the conditions for success.
What should we do about job automation?
A thirty minute discussion on job automation. Building on Michael Osborne’s work on the levels of job automation, Ryan Avent paints a dystopian future where, paradoxically, humans are forced into low skill and low wage work – and Judy Wajcman points out that the impact of technology is not inexorably deterministic, but is a function of social and political choices. As in previous industrial revolutions, there may be many losers in the transition, even if in the long run, society as a whole is better off, bringing a clear need to avoid technology driving social and political division. The goal seems obvious – that automation should lessen the burdens of work as far as possible – but the means of getting there requires many assumptions to be challenged and reset.
Matthew Taylor, Michael Osborne, Ryan Avent, Judy Wajcman – RSA Radio
The jobs of the future – and two skills you need to get them
If, as the World Economic Forum has argued, five million jobs are about to be automated out of existence, it becomes important to know which skills will be less in demand and which align with future jobs growth. This article argues that there are two important dimensions – the ‘soft’ skills, such as sharing and negotiation, and mathematical ability, and that it is the combination of the two which will lead to greatest success.