A.I.’s Impact on Jobs, Skills and the Future of Work: the UNESCO Perspective on Key Policy Issues and the Ethical Debate
A special issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy (Vol. 34, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2022) featured essays on the topic of the Future of Work which were solicited by the American Federation of Teachers for a conference on the subject it jointly hosted with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Albert Shanker Institute on July 13, 2022. This is the first of these essays.
In “A.I.’s Impact on Jobs, Skills and the Future of Work: the UNESCO Perspective on Key Policy Issues and the Ethical Debate,” Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General at UNESCO, discusses how artificial intelligence does not necessarily need to be a boogeyman. If AI is developed with people in mind, then the inclusive possibilities of AI are infinite. Ramos discusses these possibilities, and the path to get there, while focusing on the key issues of gender and discrimination.
This article discusses how the principles, values, and actionable policy areas detailed in the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence can help steer the impact of AI on jobs, skills and the future of work in an inclusive, accountable, transparent and people-centered way, and in line with the rule of law. The article also discusses the provisions contained in this normative instrument compared with existing evidence on the cognitive and social and emotional skills required in the digital era, and the way AI is shaping job tasks, employment dynamics, and occupational mobility-related needs. It examines the challenges and possibilities related to fostering inclusiveness in the AI era, with a special focus on how to fix gender-related gaps and address discrimination.