The chaos created by the education reform, namely regarding teacher appointment procedures through mysterious algorithms not only explicitly reveals how incoherent, useless and damaging the reform is, it also strongly underlines the issue of the value of work and the importance of contract regulation. Can work, or more crucially, workers, be reduced to mere variables to be entered into data flow diagrams in order to increase yield and facilitate work organization? Through the de-personalization of political and operational choices, in the name of and via technology, are we not bound to bring about a breach if not a break, in the relationship between worker and employer and the quality of the worker’s performance? Digital platforms offer not only services but also (mostly) jobs that are de-professionalized, de-regulated and de-humanized, reproducing even more extreme forms of alienation, subordination and inequality. It is not only the very concept of work that is at stake but also that of workers, employers, social welfare, as well as the fundamental social links within an advanced capitalist society.
Ethics, robotics and the workplace
The explosive and rapid impact of technological process characterises the fourth industrial revolution and transforms production, management and governance, tearing down the barriers between the physical sphere, the digital and biological worlds. The irruption onto the scene of robots as automated labourers poses ethical problems and raises issues for future economic and social contexts. Will jobs be lost? Should we trust robots when they make delicate decisions without human control? Will they increase or decrease inequality between men? Will mankind remain in perpetual idleness or be required to accept underpaid or purely unskilled work? Policy plays a fundamental role in establishing new forms of collective equilibrium.