Unemployment through Robots & Artificial Intelligence?
Prof. Sabine Köszegi (Institute of Management Sciences at TU Wien / Head of Department of Work Science and Organization, Academic Director of MBA Innovation, Digitalization & Entrepreneurship) talks in the Bruegel Podcast, opens an external URL in a new window about the influence of new technologies on the world of work, opportunities and challenges especially for women.
New technologies change every job
According to Köszegi, the question is not how many jobs will be changed or automated by new technologies in the future. Because the realistic perspective is: New technologies such as artificial intelligence, are changing our world and thus sooner or later every job. The question is therefore: How will jobs change and what opportunities and challenges will this create?
Automation vs. augmentation: soft skills are hard work as well
Depending on the degree to which an activity can be automated, three different areas emerge:
- "Humans only": activities that cannot be automated
- "Humans & Tech": Areas in which humans and machines can work together and complement each other
- "Tech only": activities and areas that can be fully automated.
Especially professions that focus on social skills cannot be (fully) automated. Therefore, social skills should be brought to the center of attention in training and continuing education, and their value should be increased. After all, the so-called soft skills are also hard work and just as relevant as technical and mathematical skills. Combining the two is the key to success, especially in the future.
We should therefore ask ourselves the question: What and how do we want to work in the future? And following this, find ideal areas of application for new technologies.
Impact on women vs. men
The impact of new technologies on the world of work has different consequences for women and men. Sabine Köszegi cites healthcare professions as an example. The more technology is used in the care sector - the more technical skills are required - the more often men take on jobs in these fields. Women are thus pushed back into professions that emphasize social skills. However, these occupations are typically lower paid and less prestigious than jobs that focus on technical and mathematical skills. To reduce this imbalance, women's confidence in their technical skills should be strengthened and encouraged at an early age. Conversely, the same applies to social skills in men. In this way, prejudices and stereotypes can be changed in the long term.
For the future of the working world, Sabine Köszegi would like to see an inclusive society in which we recognize and value different gender identities and find ideal areas of application for new technologies that positively complement people's work:
"We don't want to replace people with new technologies, but we should use new technologies to do our work better and have more time for the things we enjoy and like to do." (Sabine Köszegi)
For the full interview, listen to the Bruegel Podcast., opens an external URL in a new window
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About the Expert
Sabine Köszegi has been a professor at the Institute for Management Sciences at TU Wien since 2009, where she heads the Department of Labor Science and Organization. She heads the interdisciplinary Doctoral College (DC) on Trust in Robots – Trusting Robots and is academic director of the MBA program Innovation, Digitalization & Entrepreneurship.