The policy brief sets out how AI can help European industry remain competitive by making processes more efficient, therefore safeguarding the jobs of millions of workers. Therefore, IndustiAll Europe welcomes the ambitions of the European Commission and member states to support its development.
However, we have also indentified serious potential drawbacks for industrial workers which require new legislation:
- The capacity of machine-learning systems to supervise workers systematically and permanently
- The unexplainable nature of decisions or recommendations made by these systems
- Their capacity to guess or to anticipate sensitive personal data of workers
- The rules to access industrial data which can lead to digital monopolies
- The volume of employment and the qualification of tasks remaining for workers
IndustiAll Europe general secretary Luc Triangle said:
"There is no doubt that the European Union must engage in the development of artificial intelligence technologies. No industry will stand the competition if it doesn't master them. We must however develop and enforce our European approach to artificial Intelligence: workers must remain in control of how they are monitored and of decisions taken, access to industrial data must be broadly available, and last but not least, the professional skills and career prospects of all industrial workers must be safeguarded. To achieve this, legislation is necessary. We can't rely only on unenforceable 'ethical guidelines'".
IndustriAll Europe policy advisor Laurent Zibell, who wrote the report, will raise the employment and social consequences of AI at the European Commission’s Industry Day event in Brussels.