Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications are already widely used in today's world of work and are often divided into two categories. Either they take on tasks that can be completely automated, or they serve as support for people so that they can perform their tasks more efficiently. But what about application possibilities in between these two categories? Which professions will be created in the future due to the possibilities of AI? There are big unknowns behind the AI Factor X, which frightens many people with regard to their professional future.
AI should serve the common good
»It is not about preserving or protecting certain professions, but of redefining and meaningfully shaping the role of humans with their competences,« Dr. Peissner stated, who, as head of the »Future of Work« working group, together with international experts, published the position paper »Policy Brief: Generative AI, Jobs, and Policy Response.« Because it is undisputed that AI is already changing and will continue to change our working world. It is therefore all the more important to understand the technology and its effects now, to make it understandable for the people who will work with it in the future, and to design it in such a way that it not only brings financial benefits for companies, but also achieves positive effects for employees and our society.
Technology acceptance as a success factor for change
»Public awareness,« i.e., raising awareness and education about the technology, is consequently one of the 10 recommendations for action, which, thanks to the international mix of the working group, also contains some recommendations aimed at preventing the exploitation of »clickworkers« in the global South by large tech companies. The involvement of employee representatives in the design of AI applications is another point that can be easily solved in Germany thanks to its strong middle class and trade unions. From the point of view of the expert panel, measures to prepare people for new professional fields or to provide them with the necessary skills in the future must not only be supported by politicians, but also strategically anchored in companies. »A training day per week would be conceivable, similar to the famous ›Innovation Friday‹, but for all employees,« Dr. Peissner said. Companies would have to allot time and space for this.
Living Labs: Creating Freedom of Thought and Action
To ensure that the effects of AI can be better estimated and controlled accordingly, innovative research formats such as living labs or »sandboxes« are in demand, i.e., spaces in which free experimentation can take place. Funding and enabling this are basic prerequisites not only to examine the status quo, but to develop new strategies for a desirable use of AI in the workplace. »We have seen in the AI Ultra project that such corporate laboratories promote exchange and highlight important stumbling blocks in transformation projects,« Dr. Peissner reported. The project has already produced many guidelines for action, which Dr. Peissner was able to incorporate into the position paper.
»We are aware that this publication is based on current occupational profiles. These are currently changing. We can and should play an active role in shaping this transformation,« Peissner demanded.