Cognitive automation: what are the EU and Member States doing to protect workers?


The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) is continuously transforming jobs and workplaces. This presents opportunities and challenges, as well as benefits and risks for occupational safety and health (OSH). The automation (or semi-automation) of cognitive tasks in particular introduces several concerns about worker wellbeing that must be addressed by policy-makers.

This policy brief initially presents key points of the European Commission’s ‘Artificial Intelligence Act’, highlighting the human-centred perspective that the EU takes when it comes to introducing and regulating AI systems. It also investigates the national initiatives of Germany, France, Norway and Sweden regarding their approach to the spread of AI-based systems in the workplace. At the same time, it points out gaps in their social policies that need to be considered.

The policy brief concludes by recommending cross-national and global cooperation to create shared policies and standards regarding AI and its impact on OSH.

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