Roundtable: Artificial Intelligence: How will it change the future of work?

7 May 2019

09:00-10:45 | Arenberg Room -


Ann Mettler

European Political Strategy Centre

Head of EPSC

Eva Kaili

European Parliament


Chiara Tomasi


Public Policy and Government Relations Analyst

Murat Bicak

Project Management Institute

Senior Vice President, Strategy

Jim Dratwa

European Commission

Head of the EGE Office

Andrea Renda


Senior Research Fellow and Head of Regulatory Policy Unit

Victoria Main

Cambre Associates

Vice-President and Partner

Göran Karlsson

Tata Consultancy Services

Futurist, AI & Cognitive Solutions

Khalil Rouhana

European Commission

Deputy Director-General, DG CNECT

Moez Draief

Huawei Technologies

Head of the Machine Learning Foundations group

Tommi Raivio

Future of Work, STEM, Apprenticeships

Project Manager


Artificial intelligence and machine learning are developing at breath-taking speed, and the global race to become leader in this emerging domain is everyday more hectic. China, the United States and Japan are investing heavily in AI, including applications for industrial transformation that will enable an enhanced use of cyber-physical objects and the Internet of Things. This is a transition that promises to bring huge benefits in terms of productivity and growth over the coming years. At the same time, the impact of the rise of artificial intelligence on the labour market is still controversial. Some experts believe that half of existing workers are at risk of being replaced by machines in the coming decade, whereas others believe the effect will be more moderate, with the replacement of specific tasks, more than overall jobs. And yet other experts believe that AI will lead to net job creation.

Against this background, what is uncontroversial is the need to adequately re-skill the workforce in many sectors of the economy, in order to enable a more productive use of machines by humans. But it is not clear who should take care of the re-skilling, in a context in which the traditional boundaries of the firms are becoming more blurred, trade unions are losing contact with the growing number of self-employed workers, and governments have shrinking budgets for social policies. The risk of not upgrading the skills of the European workers includes a gradual loss of competitiveness, rising levels of inequalities, and slower growth due to lack of demand. The rise of AI might also require a radical overhaul of welfare policies: some economists propose drastic solutions such as a universal basic income, others propend for a “robotax”, others advocate treating big data provided by consumers as a source of labour.