New Technology: Destroyer or Creator of Jobs? – EuroNews

  • Laura Monti
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In case you missed it, EuroNews’ Denis Loctier @Loctier placed the spotlight on debate on whether machines are going to take over our jobs.

Watch this short ten-minute documentary, made in partnership with the ILO, where EuroNews investigates the potential impacts of technological innovations might have on the world of work.

The ILO View

The Global Commission on the Future of Work will present its independent report in 2019. Its work raises a multitude of questions for employers, employees and society as a whole. Spotlight’s Denis Loctier discussed some of these with Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization.

Spotlight: We have just seen couple of examples of how technology can make businesses more efficient. But do we comprehend the whole scope and scale of this? To put it bluntly, are machines about to take all of our jobs?”

Guy Ryder: “No, I don’t think they are about to take all of our jobs, but as your report showed very graphically, very well I think, the application of new technologies has the capacity to both create jobs, but also to replace human beings. These are both realities that we’re going to have to face, as we embark upon what people call the 4th industrial revolution. And if you try to learn from history, look at those first three industrial revolutions, we know that after a period of turbulence and adjustment we actually came out better off than we started – more jobs, better quality jobs, higher standards of living.

“We’ve seen reports saying that up to a half, or even sometimes more than a half of the existing jobs in industrial countries could potentially be replaced by robots etc. They could be – doesn’t mean they will be. Because there are very many limiting factors on this replacement effect. One is the availability of technology and capital, the other is the pure economics.”

“I think we ought all believe that technology should be applied in such manner as to help us reach social objectives; our social objectives should not be adjusted by technological applications.”

Spotlight: “It’s not just the developed countries – work is evolving around the planet. What is driving these changes?”

Guy Ryder: “Yes, indeed, we should not think that there’s one future waiting for all of us. If you go to a country like – let me take the example of Japan. There we’re seeing rapidly ageing populations, and workforce is shrinking. It looks a bit different in the developing world, where – if I think of Africa, if I think of South Asia – you have rapidly growing populations, very big demand for youth employment. There, of course, the issue of technological replacement of labour looks a bit different. And perhaps one other aspect, if I might bring in, is the whole question of the green economy. The developing world has a very very strong potential to benefit from the move to a greener and greener, environmentally sustainable economy.”

To read more, go to original article on EuroNews. The video first appeared on EuroNews in January, 2018. Feature Image: ©ILO in Asia and the Pacific | Flickr