NEW laws will be needed to stop robots stealing human jobs, a leading international employment lawyer has warned.
Robots undertaking clerical tasks in the office of the future
And future governments will be forced to bring in legislation to ensure quotas of human workers as traditional working practices are turned on their head.
Gerlind Wisskirchen, a Cologne-based employment lawyer who is vice-chair of the International Bar Association’s (IBA) global employment institute, said existing legal frameworks regulating employment and safety are becoming rapidly outdated.
He said: “What is new about the present revolution is the alacrity with which change is occurring, and the broadness of impact being brought about by AI and robotics.
“Jobs at all levels in society presently undertaken by humans are at risk of being reassigned to robots or AI.
“And the legislation once in place to protect the rights of human workers may be no longer fit for purpose.
“In some cases new labour and employment legislation is urgently needed to keep pace with increased automation.”
Mr Wisskirchen’s report for the IBA said the competitive advantages of poorer, emerging economies which rely on cheaper workforces will soon be a thing of the past as robot production lines and intelligent computer systems undercut the cost of humans.
A German car worker costs more than £34 an hour but a robot costs around £5 per hour.
He said: “A production robot is thus cheaper than a worker in China. Nor does a robot become ill, have children or go on strike and it is not entitled to annual leave”.