Andrea Glorioso is a policy officer at the European Commission.
He is responsible for the Future of work dossier at the Directorate‑General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect).
He provides analysis, assessment and policy options to address the impact of digitisation on EU labour markets.
Between 2014 and 2018, he was the Counsellor for the Digital Economy at the Delegation of the European Union to the USA, in Washington DC. Andrea was the liaison between the EU and the US on policy, regulation and research activities related to the Internet and Information & Communication Technologies, including the EU Digital Single Market strategy.
In the interview Andrea speaks about the impact of digitalisation on the European labour market. He claims that with increasing automation and robotization of tasks that humans used to do, we could all just work less. After all the 8 hours work day is part of a relatively recent social contract.
Additionally, he explains how the European Commission is actively addressing issues like re-defining the meaning of the word “work”, creative jobs, ridistribution of value.
Highlights from the episode
2:41 More than “how many hours we work,” Andrea is interested in the question “how is the nature of work changing?”
4:04 If it is true that we are shifting towards an economy that focuses more and more on services and on creative activities, what does that mean in terms of working conditions? What are the policy and regulatory implications?
4:56 Creative tasks, creative activities, can produce more stress and pressure than simply building something, putting something together.
6:09 A lot of school systems that we have today were fundamentally designed to produce factory workers.
9:35 A large scale replacement of human labour is not realistic in the near future, nonetheless we should expect changes.
13:30 In many sectors, we already observe that the real added value in certain jobs is being creative, coming up with new ideas, being able to work with others to deliver those ideas.
13:50 Innovation, ultimately, is about having new ideas, and being able to turn those ideas into concrete products or services that did not exist before, or better ways to use those products and services, that did not exist before.
15:07 Andrea’s message to the audience of EuroScientist on the future of work for the professions in research and science.
15:33 Machines will never replace what is truly the added value of human beings in research.
16:16 Don’t be scared by technological change, because for the professional researchers there are huge opportunities.
17:22 Researchers have a triple responsibility: (1) to understand the technologies that we’re talking about, (2) to “tell the right story” to people, (3) to be aware that there is a political dimension to anything that the research community publishes.
20:30 The impact of ICT and automation on society and the world of work have become a very central topic (also at political level,) and the research world needs to adapt.
For more highlights, check the description box of the YouTube video.
The future of work: Will robots steal our jobs?
Andrea Glorioso was already interviewed at Technoculture Podcast in May last year when he spoke about the concern that machines may soon “replace humans:” take self-driving cars, for example, and the “threat” that they soon send truck drivers out of business.
Is this a real concern? The usual way in which this question is presented in the media assumes that if a machine takes my job, that’s a problem for me because now I need to find another job. And if machines do all I know how to do, what job will I find, how will I stay employable?
The episode was originally published on this page.
Featured image credit: Federica Bressan