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Reshaping Work: a dialogue on AI and the platform economy

4 November 2022
The world of AI is maturing with the experts debating the vision on how to apply it responsibly and what are the consequences of AI, algorithms and digital platforms for business and society. During World AI Week, KIN Center for Digital Innovation participated in the Reshaping Work conference (co-organized with Erasmus University and Rotterdam School of Management) to help bridge the gap between science and industry. Researchers, policymakers, workers' representatives, technology companies, and businesses met to discuss the future of artificial intelligence and the platform economy.

KIN Center of Digital Innovation was represented by the members of AIKNOW — a group of KIN researchers that examines how AI affects organisations and how their employees learn, work, and collaborate.

Marleen Huysman, who supervises PhD students on AI developments and who writes about managing collaborative development of artificial intelligence, chaired the panel for AI and development. A panel discussion centred on the challenges associated with developing AI and how AI is helping businesses achieve competitive advantages.

The AI and Ethics panel promoted informed debate of the ethical, regulatory, and policy implications. Anastasia Sergeeva, associate professor at KIN, discussed the case of AI implementation in a recruitment process of a large FMCG corporation. The application replaced the standardised online tests with neuroscience games, and added predictions based on machine learning. Anastasia explained how AI did not reduce or improve fairness, but rather caused different groups – the AI team, HR team, management, and candidates – to realise and negotiate what each viewed as fair.

AI and its Implications for Work panel featured experts that debated what is the future of work in an AI world, how the industry should prepare, and what is the way forward for people whose jobs are displaced, among other topics. Tomislav Karacic, PhD candidate at KIN, discussed the consequences of implementing AI in the field of plant biotechnology. He shared the insights of his ongoing research in a Dutch vegetable breeding and seed enhancement firm. The data shows that employees unexpectedly benefit from technology: because seed quality assessment has become automated, they can now focus on more sophisticated tasks.

Hans Berends, the head of KIN Center for Digital Innovation, chaired a panel on Algorithmic Management. The panel discusses how algorithms can/should be managed, how algorithmic platformisation is being increasingly adopted by traditional companies, and the implications for the future of work.

The conference provided a venue for constructive dialogue, exchange of views, negotiation of positions, and solution proposals between parties concerned with the future of work. A collection of conference papers and reports can be found at: https://reshapingwork.net/publications.