ICYMI: Ranking Member Scott Hosted a Roundtable on Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) hosted a roundtable with experts on the potential short-term and long-term risks of artificial intelligence (AI) for workers and the labor market. The roundtable discussion addressed the concept of AI, its benefits and harms, and possible solutions to protect workers in the modern economy.
Watch Ranking Member Scott’s remarks on YouTube.
Ranking Member Scott delivered the following remarks during the roundtable:
“Artificial intelligence (AI) is a term with multiple meanings and uses. But, at the most general level, it can be described as a machine’s ability to perform the cognitive functions we associate with human minds.
“The concept of AI may conjure up scenes of the future, but AI already exists in many aspects of everyday life. Technologies, such as fitness trackers, customer service chatbots, and music playlist recommendations, are examples of common applications of AI.
“In recent years, the introduction of high-profile AI tools, such as ChatGPT, has rekindled public discourse around the implications of those new technologies in the labor and employment context.
“This was a focus of a series of hearings that we held in the 116th Congress that resulted in a Committee report, entitled, ‘The Future of Work: How Congress Can Support Workers in the Modern Economy.’
“And, while AI has the potential to increase efficiency, productivity, revenue, and error reduction, researchers and experts have found that these technologies also pose risks to workers and their livelihoods.
“The compounding effects of technology, globalization, climate change, and other structural shifts have fomented the idea that workers could face an inevitable race to the bottom for wages, benefits, working conditions—or even worse—the elimination of their jobs altogether.
“Yet, the reality is that the well-being of workers and our economy is not, and never has been, outside of our control. It is largely determined by policy choices that we make—or don’t make.
“The rise of AI in the workplace—as with any new technology—may displace jobs, violate workers’ privacy, pose obstacles to workers’ right to organize and collectively bargain, and exert a disparate impact on people of color, women, older people, and people with disabilities.
“But our job in Congress is to do everything we can to ensure that the changing economy does not undermine the financial security, civil rights, and labor-market opportunities of American workers. The purpose of today’s conversation is to discuss how we can chart a path that ensures every American has strong protections, fair pay and benefits, and a rewarding career.”
Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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