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29 Dec 2017

Richard Partington, The Guardian (UK)

UK: New study highlights impacts of technology & automation on inequality

"UK’s poorest to fare worst in age of automation, thinktank warns", 28 Dec 2017

The rise of the machine economy risks social disruption by widening the gap between rich and poor in Britain...

Jobs accounting for a third of annual pay in the UK risk being automated, according to the study by the IPPR thinktank. Warning that low-paid roles are in the greatest danger, it urged ministers to head off the prospect of rising inequality by helping people retrain and share in the benefits from advances in technology... and ...called on the government to take a greater role in managing the adoption of robotics, artificial intelligence and other methods of job automation in the workforce...

Measures called for in the IPPR report include a UK skills system to help retrain those affected by the introduction of machines into the workforce, as well as an ethics watchdog to oversee the use of automating technologies..

Ministers are also being urged to consider new models of company ownership in the face of increasing returns to asset owners, because rising automation could result in higher profits for those who own companies - at the expense of workers’ salaries...

The government has taken some steps to address the challenges ahead, including a partnership with the TUC and the CBI to develop a national training scheme for workers, as well as launching an industrial strategy to drive up productivity.