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Advanced robotics and Al-based systems for automation of tasks
Automating tasks through technological advancements has been an ongoing process in many industries. Although still in their infancy in terms of deployment, artificial intelligence (AI)-based systems for the automation of both cognitive and physical tasks, as well as intelligent collaborative robots (cobots) show promising results in a variety of sectors. Cobots, as a form of advanced robotic systems, can for example be used to hold a work piece, while a worker inspects it for errors, and AI-based systems might be used to support doctors in the diagnosis process. However, new technologies in the workplace create both challenges and opportunities for occupational safety and health (OSH). Advanced robotics and AI-based systems are no exception to that. On one hand they provide opportunities for OSH, like removing workers from high-risk environments or reducing cognitive workload. On the other, when consulting current literature on possible OSH effects, one can see a number of reoccurring risk factors, that can be classified into physical, psychosocial and organisational.
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) organises this high-level seminar on “Advanced robotics and Al-based systems for automation of tasks: Implications for Occupational Safety and Health” in Brussels on 15 March 2023. The seminar will allow sharing of experience in the development, adaptation, use, and regulation of such systems and special issues that should be considered. The findings from both desk and field research that EU-OSHA conducted will be presented, as well as a number of use cases that have been developed, referring to automation of physical and cognitive tasks in companies around Europe. Additionally, an assessment of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) challenges and opportunities associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) -based systems for the automation of tasks as well as collaborative robots (cobots) will be discussed. Following a plenary session, there will be three break-out sessions, focusing on regulations, inspections, and OSH management respectively.
Priority setting for policymaking and recommendations for the development of such systems in the EU will also be drawn. Challenges and opportunities will be highlighted as well as lessons learned, and good practices based on the use cases. The seminar will bring together policymakers at EU and Member State level, workers’ organisations, employers’ organisations, inspectorates, and other stakeholders, including researchers involved in OSH.
Comet Meetings – 5th floor, Louise, Pl. Stéphanie 20, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium