Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Automation, Work and the Achievement Gap

I just published a new paper with my colleague and friend Sven Nyholm. It's in the new journal AI and Ethics and it is about robots undermining human achievements and what we should do about this. One reason why we think this topic is interesting is because it identifies a positive responsibility gap that might be created by autonomous technologies. This is distinct from the negative responsibility gaps already widely discussed in the literature. The paper is available in open access format from the publishers. Links and details below.

Title: Automation, Work and the Achievement Gap

Links: Official; Philpapers; Researchgate; Academia 

Abstract: Rapid advances in AI-based automation have led to a number of existential and economic concerns. In particular, as automating technologies develop enhanced competency, they seem to threaten the values associated with meaningful work. In this article, we focus on one such value: the value of achievement. We argue that achievement is a key part of what makes work meaningful and that advances in AI and automation give rise to a number achievement gaps in the workplace. This could limit people’s ability to participate in meaningful forms of work. Achievement gaps are interesting, in part, because they are the inverse of the (negative) responsibility gaps already widely discussed in the literature on AI ethics. Having described and explained the problem of achievement gaps, the article concludes by identifying four possible policy responses to the problem. 



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