14th Apr 2024


EU Social Forum explores how to protect workers' rights in the age of AI

  • Register to join the Forum on 16-17 November, either online or in-person. (Photo: EESRF)
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From language models to tools for cancer screening and treatment, artificial intelligence (AI) is dramatically reshaping our world. These changes are equally profound in the world of work and workers' rights. How can we make sure that even with AI, the world of work remains inclusive, fair and transparent?

The European Commission is taking a collaborative approach to shape the future of work in the age of AI by bringing together business leaders, policymakers and industry experts at the 2023 European Employment and Social Rights Forum.

Shaping the future of work: AI and workers' rights in focus

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According to economist David Autor, AI will either reduce inequalities and improve workers' lives, or usher a stark new wave of job replacement, exacerbating income disparities. The determining factor, he says, lies in the way AI is designed.

The European Employment and Social Rights Forum, focusing this year on 'The impact of AI on the world of work', will take place in Brussels and online on 16 and 17 November 2023. Register here.

Among the main speakers are Prof. Christopher Pissarides, co-founder and co-chair of the Institute for the Future of Work, and winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics; Stuart Russel, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley; Valeryia Ionan, Deputy Minister for Eurointegration at Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation; and Tim O'Reilly, founder, CEO, and Chairman of O'Reilly Media.

The Forum will explore, among others, the ways in which we can harness the true potential of AI, while setting clear rules that uphold job quality and ensure that AI policies contribute to reducing poverty and inequality.

Regulating AI

The Forum takes place in a context where the EU is actively seeking to spearhead the regulation of AI technologies and applications. Many leading players within the AI community are calling for comprehensive legislation to address these challenges, including ethical standards and clear rules on the development and use of AI.

"Europe, together with partners, should lead the way on a new global framework for AI. Our number one priority is to ensure AI develops in a human-centric, transparent and responsible way. Our AI Act is already a blueprint for the whole world," Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said.

In 2021, the European Commission proposed the AI Act, the world's first AI regulatory framework. By June 2023, the European Parliament adopted its position on the AI Act and called for safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory, and environmentally friendly AI systems.

Join the European Employment and Social Rights Forum 2023

There are high expectations for how AI will transform economies. A recent study by Goldman Sachs estimates that AI could increase annual global GDP by €6.47 trillion over the next decade. However, it also suggests that automation technology could impact up to 300 million jobs worldwide.

There is an urgent conversation to be had about implementing policies to safeguard job stability, working conditions, and privacy. The Forum is an opportunity to discuss ideas, policy options to ensure that legislation guarantees that the technology works for the benefit of workers.

Register to participate in the 2023 European Employment and Social Rights Forum taking place on 16-17 November in Brussels and online.

Author bio

On 16 and 17 November 2023, the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission is organising the second edition of the annual flagship event in Brussels, the European Employment & Social Rights Forum.


This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.


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