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.”
- Prospect union's written submission to the BEIS committee's enquiry can be found here: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/business-energy-and-industrial-strategy-committee/automation-and-the-future-of-work/written/101696.html
- Prospect representatives also gave oral evidence to the enquiry earlier this year.
- 58% of people were not confident that they would be consulted or involved in decisions regarding the application of new technology in their workplace - YouGov polling for Prospect union, 15-16 May 2019.
- 54% of young Prospect members were optimistic about the impact of technology on their work, compared to just 5% having a pessimistic view of the impact of new tech on their work - Prospect survey of members, 2018.