There’s no need to fear automation – not if we apply these reforms

Automation doesn’t need to be something to fear. Instead it should be something to welcome and develop, offering the opportunity for more interesting work, increased leisure, and easier interpersonal connections and communication.

But alarmist stories abound of an ominous robot takeover (though I, for one, welcome the suggestion that they’ll be capable of assembling flat pack furniture). Despite this, parliamentarians have seemed surprisingly uninterested in digging deeper into the broader implications of automation beyond the immediate. Beyond large-scale pieces of work like Tom Watson’s future of work commission and the Fabian Society’s commission on automation, most parliamentarians are apparently taking little notice of the automation phenomenon. A quick glance at the number of Written Parliamentary Questions referencing either ‘artificial intelligence’ or ‘automation’ shows that we’ve asked a meagre 90 since June 2014 (even ‘beer’ manages to do better than that, with 113 references over the same time period).

Read more from Kate Green for Labour List here: