With the speedy development of AI language models like ChatGPT, along with automation and the proliferation of AI-powered applications and programs, traditional industries and the job market itself are facing likely disruptions. This is already being felt in many industries, not just abroad but also in the country.
Aside from the preparations that workers must do, such as upskilling and reskilling, it must not be forgotten that workers’ unions have an important role to play. In fact, they must step up their game as they are tasked with the important work of advocating for the interests of workers. Unions need to look more closely at the new issues coming up today in relation to developments in the realm of Artificial Intelligence and study how these affect workers and how they can represent the workers in various labor platforms.
For example, the role of AI has become an important point of contention in the negotiations between the Writers Guild of America, which is currently still on strike, and huge companies such as Disney and Netflix. In an AI-centric world of the not-so-distant future, how can unions help workers protect their livelihood? I hope that the labor groups and our government’s labor offices have looked into this and are putting in place a system that will allow all parties to thrive in this highly advanced, new, and very different setup.
Labor unions will have to figure out new ways of addressing concerns like job security in an era of bots, fair distribution of benefits from automation, and the implications of AI systems on working conditions. What are the parameters related to the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence? How can labor unions protect workers from biases, discrimination, and unfair treatment stemming from the use of AI?
There must be ongoing discussions about the responsible and ethical use of AI among stakeholders such as employers, workers, and labor unions. It is very important for AI to be implemented in ways that respect and protect the rights of workers. Discussions like collective bargaining can also influence the creation of AI-related policies. Stakeholders must realize that involvement is key in making sure their inputs are considered. Be counted, and fight for your voice to be heard because participation is crucial during this time when all the basic and general policies are just being drafted.
As AI technologies continue to create great ripples in our lives, our workers’ unions must remain at the forefront in fighting for the welfare and rights of workers. This task can be daunting, especially during this era, but no one else can/will do it aside from the stakeholders themselves. Everyone must do his or her part in creating a bright future of work in the age of Artificial Intelligence.