25 March 2021

BCS has responded to a report by the TUC that raises concerns about the lack of legal safeguards to protect staff from unfair treatment due to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace.

The TUC and employment rights lawyers said their research shows the law is failing to keep up with the rapid expansion of AI at work. They called for new legal protections to be put in place so staff can challenge what they called “inhuman” forms of, for instance, AI performance management.

The President of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, John Higgins said: ‘Society must be able to trust AI if we are to use it to the full to help us live better lives and have a better work experience.

‘This powerful report encourages us to sort out the design and development governance for AI, and to ensure that there are proper legal protections in place.

‘Algorithms must be ethical by design and that needs collective technological governance and professionalism.’

The report highlights how the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of AI-powered technologies in taking decisions such as the selection of job candidates, day-to-day line management, performance ratings, shift allocation and who is disciplined or made redundant.

A full copy of the TUC report: Technology Managing People - the legal implications by Robin Allen QC and Dee Masters. 

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