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Artificial intelligence poses an inhuman risk to worker rights

March 25, 2021

The circles of the broader social conversation about the risks of AI and ML keep expanding. While we've recently highlighted those in the research, NGO, and developer communities, a new entrant has entered the discussion: labor unions. The Trades Union Congress (TUC), a large federation of trade unions in England and Wales, has published a manifesto establishing core principles that mirror much of what we've seen from other public and private groups. Francis O'Grady of the TUC concludes, "Make no mistake. AI can be harnessed to transform working lives for the better. But without proper regulation, accountability and transparency, we risk it being used to set punishing targets, rob workers of human connection and deny them dignity at work."

The TUC's focus on the intersection of workers' rights and internal use of AI for hiring and human resources parallels accelerating interest in this area of late. Back in October, the American Bar Association expanded upon AI creating potential risks under existing employment laws for company counsel to monitor. SAFELab at Columbia University argues that social workers are important voices to ensure that the most vulnerable and affected communities are protected by AI regulation.

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Regulation & Legislation