Written by 5:25 pm AI, AI Services, AI Trend, ChatGPT, Generative AI, OpenAI, Uncategorized

– Collaborative Discussion Between Microsoft and Labor Unions on AI Impact on Employees

In a historic first, Microsoft says its giving labor leaders a seat at the table for discussions ab…

According to Microsoft, a discussion regarding the development and implementation of artificial intelligence technology will be conducted with labor leaders at the table.

The tech giant, known for its substantial investment in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, revealed on Monday that it had struck a deal with the AFL-CIO to initiate an “open conversation” concerning the impact of AI on employment trends.

In a joint announcement by Microsoft and the AFL-CIO, this agreement marks a pioneering effort focused on AI.

The primary objectives of this new partnership, as outlined in the statement, include educating labor representatives and workers on AI trends, integrating worker perspectives into AI innovation, and contributing to the formulation of policies that cater to the technological needs of frontline workers. The inaugural academic session is slated for 2024, featuring coaching sessions led by Microsoft to update employees and students on the latest AI advancements.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and chairman, emphasized in a statement on Monday that “collaborating directly with labor officials enables us to ensure that AI benefits the nation’s workforce.”

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler described the agreement as a recognition of the pivotal role workers play in the development, application, and governance of AI and related technologies.

The labor movement looks forward to partnering with Microsoft to enhance employee involvement in the design of worker-centric systems, workforce training, and ethical AI protocols, according to Shuler.

This announcement coincides with ongoing discussions among business leaders and policymakers regarding the potential impacts of AI on the job market in the coming years. While tech luminaries have extolled the virtues of AI in boosting productivity and efficiency, concerns have been raised by both labor representatives and critics within the tech industry about the risk of AI displacing human workers. A survey conducted by the AFL-CIO in August revealed that 70% of respondents expressed apprehension about the potential job displacement caused by AI.

Significantly, Microsoft has agreed to implement a “neutrality model” for employees in collaboration with AFL-CIO organizations and their affiliates, following the partnership announced on Monday. This initiative builds upon the neutrality pact established by Microsoft with Activision Blizzard employees, who united under the Communications Workers of America Union (CWA) following Microsoft’s acquisition of the gaming giant.

As highlighted by Microsoft and the AFL-CIO, this new framework underscores a mutual commitment to upholding employees’ rights to unionize and negotiate collective bargaining agreements that support workers amidst rapid industrial transformations, despite the tech industry’s historical resistance to organized labor.

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Last modified: February 3, 2024
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