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Economics of the digital revolution

The "digital revolution" is impacting everything, from economy, innovation, science and education, to health, sustainability, governance, and lifestyles. Digital technologies will fundamentally change business models, institutions and society as a whole, as new ecosystems emerge.

  • Automation and robotization are considerably increasing productivity. However, the related increased profit is not reflected in the income of the workers and even less so in the contributions that corporations make to society. Therefore, policies should align productivity increase with income, tax and social contributions of business, to address unemployment and re-skilling.
  • Anticipation of the effects of AI & robotisation for social transition needs to ensure that everyone benefits of technological advancements, that economic growth is also reflected in income and living standards of all citizens. The European Pillar of Social Rights aims to support a positive transition.
  • AI is increasing proficiency and can also identify workers' best use of skill, which might be disregarded by their usual everyday job. E.g. GE and Shell already employ algorithms for managerial work and to match projects with employees based on their skills.
  • AI will change workplaces; it will allow better work-flow management, productivity increase and merit-based promotion, but also give managers extraordinary control over their employees. 
  • coherent strategy and policy approach is needed to avoid potential disruptive structural changes and to assure that digitalization benefits the majority of the population, encourages further innovation and development, and that it helps address the global challenges.
  • EU-wide policy should regulate the social and economic aspects of AI and robotisation (including robot taxation) to guarantee a standard level of economic benefit and security for society. Commission, in its White paper on AI, expressed support to a regulatory and investment oriented approach with the twin objective of promoting the uptake of AI and of addressing the risks associated with certain uses of this new technology.
  • Smart-city developments should prioritise on healthy lifestyle of increasingly independent citizens.

| Related Megatrends: TechnologyInequalitiesUrbanizationHealth