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BEERG Newsletter - UK: TUC leader warns on the use of AI

The general secretary of the UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) has told the BBC that with the rise of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace, employment rights have to keep pace with big changes. “So often we see those big decisions being taken by [employment] software that has discrimination written in. We’ve seen it in terms of race and gender discrimination, in terms of facial recognition, accents,” Frances O’Grady said, adding “Huge decisions about performance at work, whether you even get work, whether you are fired [are] being taken on this basis, so we want the right to human review.”

In several pieces of proposed legislation, including the flagship Directive on AI governance, the European Union is pushing for extensive employee information and consultation rights on the use of algorithms in human resource decision making. 

A report from the European Parliament says that the EU is lagging behind the United States and China in the global race for Artificial Intelligence, warning that such a situation creates geopolitical risks given the strategic importance of these new technological systems.

“The EU is still far from fulfilling its aspirations of becoming competitive in AI on a global level,” the Parliament said, urging EU member states to increase investment in research, infrastructure, education, and training in the field of AI.

Published on: May 4, 2022

Authors: Tom Hayes

Topics: Evolving Workplace, The UK and European Union

Tom Hayes

Director of European Union and Global Labor Affairs, HR Policy Association

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Contact Tom Hayes LinkedIn

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