Worried that a robot will one day take your job? Do not be afraid, says a senior politician who is urging people to “embrace android”.
If the machines can take over routine tasks, the deputy Labor leader Tom Watson believes, will free up people to focus in the areas of generation of more wealth.
If well regulated, says that the growth of automation could create as many jobs as it will remove it.
“I guess what I’m really saying is – robots makes us free.”
A report earlier this year suggests 30% of British jobs could be threatened by automation by 2030, compared with 38% in the united states, and 21% in Japan, with manufacturing and retail in the most at risk.
Corbyn: to Allow workers to control the robots
Will a robot take your job?
But Mr Watson, who is also the Labour culture spokesman, said that he was much more optimistic that the technological change could be a force for economic and social development.
Speaking at the launch of a new report on the future of work in the 21st Century, he urged the people to focus on the mouth of the automation and artificial intelligence, and remembering the hug-a-hoodie phrase associated with David Cameron – “hug of android”.
End of the post to Twitter by @tom_watson
“Our report found that the most apocalyptic predictions about the impact automation will have on employment are too pessimistic,” he said.
“We believe that automation and artificial intelligence can, with the right policy framework around it, to create as many jobs as it destroys.”
“If the heavy work and the routine tasks of the future can be carried out by 21st century machines, the work force of the future will be free to focus on the activities that generate greater economic benefits for a greater number of people. That is liberating”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has taken a more circumspect approach to its attachment to the power of the robots, and the warning at the beginning of this year that the new technology had led to a “more predatory and exploitative form of capitalism” and that the machines should be controlled by the workers, not bosses.
Monday’s Future of Work Commission report, which has been defended by Mr Watson, but it is not official party policy, said that spending on research and development and innovation should be increased to 3.5% of national income each year, and there must be tax cuts for companies that invest in new areas.
But he also said that the workers in the gig economy need additional protective measures through a Letter for a Good Job.
And also urged to move towards a single category of worker to ensure that self-employed workers and casual staff are not discriminated against.
In a famous speech in 2006, shortly after he became a leader in the Tory, David Cameron, said that the teens, wearing hoodies, were often misunderstood and that his actions were “more defensive and offensive”.
Later came to be known as the “hug-a-hoodie” speech, though he had not used the actual words, while the metaphor is extended to include the “hug a husky” after having visited the Arctic.