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What's the challenge?

Technology. Revolution.

These are words that are much in the air at the moment. The use of new technology, it is said, will transform the workplace and society. We hear about these new forms of technology every day – smartglasses, genesplicing, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, driverless technology, the internet of things and so on.

How can workers understand the challenges posed by these new technologies? How can we understand what benefits they might bring to us? How should we, as workers and as citizens balance our view of the costs and benefits of new technology? 

After two years of analysing papers and reports, of engaging with experts and partner organisations, and discussion with affiliates in the ITF Automation Working Group, the ITF has developed a set of practical responses to the challenge of new technology that consists of three main elements:

  • A critique of the corporate narrative
  • A framework for understanding the challenge of new technology
  • A toolkit for affiliated trade unions