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The New Year is a time for taking stock. It’s also a time to look to the future and what the world will become in the year – and years – ahead. So AEDH wants to start by telling you a story. This story is about Amelia. Thanks to a report broadcast on France 2, Amelia was shown to a young, blonde woman, dressed ready to set off for her office. Except that Amelia doesn’t have just one office. No ! She has several. And for good reason, because Amelia is an artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligences that, as Amelia’s developer admits, could replace 250,000,000 office jobs in the coming years. Yes, the story of Amelia is the story of a new industrial revolution that could lead to the replacement of 94% of accountants or 94% of legal assistants.
If the AEDH is asking questions, it is also because the predictions invite us to question the future of work. Frey and Osborne, researchers at Oxford University, estimated that in 2013 47% of jobs will be threatened. The OECD estimates that this revolution will destroy 9% of jobs. Let Daron Açemoglu, professor at MIT, arbitrate. His testimony is all the more interesting because, at first glance, this professor from one of the most prestigious American universities saw no problem with this revolution in progress: he declared in 2012 that : ”sometimes technological progress leads to the replacement of workers by machines, and when that happens, workers lose their jobs and that weighs on the labor market but in the end it is beneficial for workers and society.” Since then, however, he has largely revised his judgment. Based on figures, he estimates that millions of jobs will not be eliminated but that robotization will have direct and indirect consequences. The professor believes that the new jobs created will not compensate for those destroyed. This is the direct effect on the labour market. The indirect effect is that these new job seekers will exert pressure on the job market, leading to lower wages due to the competition between applicants.
Edwin Van Bommel, developer of Amelia’s cognitive team, one who could be seen as its principal teacher, is chillingly cynical when he talks about his innovation. If he admits that Amelia is going to destroy jobs, he thinks that’s it’s not his problem. But isn’t the problem that everyone says, “This isn’t my problem? “.
In any case, it’s AEDH’s problem. It’s not that we’re facing the end of work as such. Previous industrial revolutions have shown that Man always finds resources for the creation of new activities. But AEDH wants to question the challenges posed by the story of Amelia. Because this revolution requires a deep and serious prospective and analytical work to reply to the stakes in hand. Let’s try to address a few points.
First of all, it seems obvious that work will have to be adapted to the new economic structure. There’ll be a need to train the youngest for tomorrow’s new professions. The European agenda is pretty well in line with this challenge. Let’s bet that this agenda results in concrete achievement. However, it will be necessary to protect and reform the victims of this new revolution. As such, AEDH hopes that the European Pillar of Social Rights will be a central tool for protecting and reintegrating these people into the world of work. AEDH believes that this revolution must be deeply inclusive and allow everyone to integrate into this new society.
This revolution invites us to look into the nature of it. A digital agenda is now at the heart of European policies as shown by the latest programs of the Council’s rotating presidencies of Estonia and Bulgaria. However, AEDH hopes that this agenda does not target simply companies’ competitiveness but ensures a global vision by integrating into the digital agenda issues that are certainly economic but also social and cultural. Several examples:
– Digitilization has allowed the development of what is commonly called the platform economy. However, this economy presents a number of issues, including social matters. When the workers of these platforms are confronted with a computer problem or illness they are absolutely not protected and this because of the unclear status between an independent and an employee; public policies did not anticipate this problem and are still struggling to find solutions to these challenges. One solution would be to oblige the platform to pay the social security in the countries in which its workers operate. But again, it will be necessary to decide whether the person working for a platform is an independent or an employee.
– The reduction of working time could be a solution. The human being being less needed or have to be in a particular place, their working time would be reduced and they could then devote themselves to other activities.
– A tax on robots could be put in place. This tax is not a completely crazy idea since it was also called by Bill Gates in person. The latter declared that “Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”
The story of Amelia is actually a story that remains to be written. It can be a revolution that will leave millions of people behind. It is perhaps the story that will profoundly transform our societies and Man’s relationship to work. But all beautiful stories have by definition a beautiful ending. So AEDH wants the European Union to write the beautiful pages evoking technical, scientific, economic, social and cultural progress.
 On the channel France 2, a report on the show Envoyé Spécial was broadcast on robotisation and artificial intelligences.
 FREY, Carl Benedikt, OSBORNE, Michael.A, “The future of employement: how susceptible are the jobs to computerisation” , Oxford, 2013.
 Arntz, M., T. Gregory and U. Zierahn, “The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries: A Comparative Analysis”, 2016, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 189, OECD Publishing, Paris.
 Note 1.
 Les Echos, « Taxer les robots : Bill Gates sur la même longueur d’onde que Benoît Hamon », 2017, disponible sur : https://www.lesechos.fr/20/02/2017/lesechos.fr/0211812657038_taxer-les-robots—bill-gates-sur-la-meme-longueur-d-onde-que-benoit-hamon.htm