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AI, Automation, and New Socioeconomic Inequalities? A Brief Overview

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHorizon Scanning Report on AI for Australian Commonwealth Science Council
Publisher or commissioning bodyAustralian Council of Learned Academies
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Sep 2018


Australia, similar to other advanced economies, has experienced rapid socio-technical change in recent years. There is a great deal of conjecture around this change and its impact on work and wellbeing. Issues related to the scope of technological unemployment, skills and retraining, and future demand for education and professionalization are hotly debated in the public realm. A key social justice question that emerges in the debate is whether or not the unprecedented pace of socio-technical changes associated with new forms of automation will lead to greater social or economic equality. While many commentators are optimistic that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation may create more leisure time, better quality work and more enriching lives, other caution that these technological advances may lead to a pooling of economic risk at the bottom of the income scale, with race, age, class and gender differences compounding employment precarity and existing patterns of disadvantage. The following discussion canvasses some of these risks and opportunities in regard to employment, public administration and representation.



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