Work in the Age of Intelligent Automation – Remarks on the Current Automation Debate

Tuomo Alasoini_News

by Tuomo Alasoini, Research Professor, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Article related to the NIVA course on Transformation of Work in the Digital Era 26th – 28th of October 2020 at Hanaholmen, Helsinki area, Finland

1 Introduction
The relationship between the development of technology and the evolution of work is a matter that fascinates people’s minds. Speculations on how different technologies will change work and employment have given rise to wild, both utopian and dystopian, predictions over the course of industrial history. The rapid progress of digital technology in the form of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotics, cloud technology and the use of digital platforms in recent years has once again fuelled the debate on this subject also in economic and social sciences.

In this short critical overview, I try to put this debate into context by assessing the ongoing debate from two perspectives. The paper asks, first, whether we are heading towards a major transformation – or even disruption – in the world of work in the digital era, or whether changes that are taking place should rather be characterized as “business as usual”. Second, the paper asks what kinds of effects could changes in work due to the advance of digital technology have on the quality of working life.

Read the whole article and references here.

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