UK risks losing out on robots and automation

18 Sep 2019

Prospect Union responds to BEIS Select Committee Report on Automation and the Future of Work.

Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, commented:

“As this welcome report points out, with the right leadership the UK could be a world-leader in new technology and artificial intelligence.

“Properly managed, technology can have a huge positive impact on the future of work, yet too often robots and automation are talked about as something happening to workers, not with them.

“We need to end the technology divide in Britain with business, government and unions working together to ensure that these benefits are shared and that we deliver the skills and jobs we need.

“It is also clear that technology has the capacity to recreate the bias of those who create it. As the report recommends, we also need greater diversity in the tech workforce and transparency over AI to ensure that no-one misses out on the next generation of jobs.

“Nearly two thirds of British workers fear that they will be shut out of discussions about how AI and robots could affect their work.

“Workers need a voice in how work is changing both in their organisations and in industry bodies such as the government’s Industrial Strategy and AI Councils.”

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