Esther Lynch, the head of labor unions in Europe, has issued a warning that no employee should be “subject to the will of a machine.” She has also made a request for regulations to ensure that humans will continue to be in control even while artificial intelligence technology progresses at a dizzying speed.
In the same way that European Union treaties protect health and safety in the workplace, laws are needed to guarantee “the human-in-control principle” when it comes to artificial intelligence, Lynch said in an interview prior to a big gathering of union representatives in Berlin that these standards are necessary.
“We need to be guaranteed that no worker is subject to the will of a machine,” Lynch said in an interview with AFP. She called such a scenario a “dystopian” future scenario.
Since December of last year, Lynch has served in the role of general secretary for the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). He will preside over the four-day ETUC Congress that will begin in the German city on Tuesday.
This event, which takes place once every four years, brings together hundreds of union representatives from over 40 different nations to address a wide variety of themes, including workers’ rights, the future of work, environmental preservation, inequality, and cross-border union cooperation.
The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, are two of the notable individuals that are slated to speak at the congress.
– ‘Not just the 1%’ – Ever since the massively popular AI chatbot ChatGPT broke onto the scene late last year, debate has been raging over how the technology may upend the world of work, perhaps affecting many jobs along the way. “Not just the 1%”
Skeptics are concerned about job losses, loss of data privacy, and the loss of a human element in some decision-making processes. Supporters of AI point out that AI tools can take over automated or repetitive activities and free up people to conduct more creative work. Supporters also point out that AI tools can take over tasks that are repetitive or automated.
Lynch, who is sixty years old, stated that artificial intelligence legislation would be one of the subjects she would be talking with Nicolas Schmit, the EU’s Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, during the congress.
The Irish woman predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) will have “both positive and negative aspects,” just like every other technological advancement.
According to our observations, “the results are better whenever you involve workers and their unions in the introduction of technology.”
The European Union (EU) is now debating a draft language that calls for restrictions on how artificial intelligence can be used in Europe. This brings the organization one step closer to passing a legislation regulating AI.
According to Lynch, the implementation of AI “in a way that works for working people rather than against them” is of “critically important” significance.
She continued by saying, “It can’t be the case that only the top one percent take all of the benefits of AI, and leave everybody else not benefiting from the productivity gains that will come from AI,” and I quote: “That just can’t be the case.”
“We need to make sure that wherever parts of jobs or whole jobs or even whole industries are displaced, that there are other quality jobs created,”
– The burden of inflationary expenses – The unequal distribution of wealth will be a central topic of discussion at the congress, which comes at a time when workers all throughout Europe are experiencing the sting of a cost-of-living squeeze brought on by high inflation.
Lynch stated that in spite of the fact that people were having a hard time making ends meet, many businesses had profited from rising prices and were enjoying higher profits and dividend payouts.
She reported that last year there was a “14 percent increase” in dividends paid out by Europe’s top 1,200 corporations, when the average pay growth was only four percent.
It is therefore very evident who is responsible for pushing inflation. “Those who are employed are not the problem,” stated Lynch.
She went on to say that the sequence of interest rate hikes implemented by the European Central Bank with the intention of bringing inflation under control actually served to exacerbate the problem of inequality.
According to Lynch, increasing the cost of borrowing money “is not the solution” for treating dividends in a more equitable manner.
She suggested that the issue could be remedied by imposing a tax on dividends, after which the wealth could be redistributed.