Cognitive automation: impact, risks and opportunities for occupational safety and health

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The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) is continuously transforming jobs and work tasks. Although AI-based systems in the workplace offer many benefits, there is growing debate on how they impact occupational health and safety (OSH). The automation (or semi-automation) of cognitive tasks in particular introduces concerns about worker psychosocial wellbeing that must be addressed by policy-makers.

This policy brief outlines both the risks and opportunities that AI-based systems bring to the workplace, focusing on how certain jobs and sectors are impacted. It also emphasises the key risks that should be addressed by policy-makers by looking at labour law and data protection regulation.

The policy brief concludes with recommendations to protect workers by minimising OSH-related risks that arise from the automation of tasks.

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