Report on robots in the public sector forgets about the humans
- Tuesday 11 February 2020
Unite, Britain and Ireland’s biggest union, has criticised a new report on the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) in public services for failing to discuss the real threat to public sector jobs.
A Unite analysis of the threat of automation on jobs has found that health and local authorities are at high risk of automation. A report by Frey and Osborne in 2015 estimated that 35 per cent of UK jobs could be lost to automation.
The new report entitled Artificial Intelligence and Public Standards led by Lord Evans of Weardale brings into focus how artificial intelligence will change the provision of public services but does not address the threat the technology poses to jobs.
Unite executive officer, Sharon Graham, said: “A report on robots in the public sector has forgotten about the humans. 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.
“Unite is developing a political and industrial strategy to build a future that works. New technology is going to generate a lot of opportunities but there are also threats. We will fight to make sure the benefits are shared and used to do things that help public sector workers and their families, such as reducing working time without loss of pay."
For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315
- Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values. Secure Work: fighting for jobs and job security, Strong Voice: a union which is a respected voice at work and Decent Pay: a union focused on pay and conditions.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.