Government does not yet have serious plan to deal with massive disruption AI will bring to employment

 

Olly Buston, CEO of think tank Future Advocacy said:

“We welcome the announcement of a review of how the conditions for a thriving artificial intelligence industry can be created in the UK. The digital strategy’s drive to improve tech skills is very important.  But it’s going to take more than tech training to ensure that real people can cope with the impact of the intelligence revolution on their jobs and lives.  Currently the government does not have a serious plan to deal with the massive disruption that AI will bring to employment in the UK.”

Future Advocacy’s report “An Intelligent Future?” on what the government should do to maximise the opportunities and minimise the risks of artificial intelligence in the UK can be found here.  The report includes findings of a unique UK opinion poll on public attitudes towards AI. 

The YouGov poll findings include:

  • 82% of people in work are not worried about their jobs being replaced by AI, robots, or machines in the near future. This contrasts with expert predictions that as many as 15 million jobs could be at threat in the UK - half the workforce.

  • 42% of respondents want the government to pay more attention to the potential risks and opportunities of AI, as opposed to only 8% who think it should pay less.

  • Men tend to see the development of AI as more of an opportunity than a risk; while women are significantly less optimistic.

 

Future Advocacy’s recommendations to the government include:

  • Commission UK-specific research on which jobs are most at risk by sector, geography, age group, and gender.  And then implement a smart strategy to address the findings.

  • Draft a white paper on adapting the education system to maximize the opportunities and minimize the risks created by AI.

  • Agree a ‘new deal on data’ between citizens, businesses, and government with policies on privacy, consent, transparency, and accountability via a nationwide debate led by a respected and impartial public figure.

 

For more information contact:

Cath Elliston on cathelliston@futureadvocacy.org / 07926082191

Notes to the editor:

  1. The UK Digital Strategy can be found here.

  2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2070 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between  10th - 11th October 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).