Without regulation, the extra wealth created by automation will end up in one place: the pockets' technology owners. Automation will make economic inequality worse, not better, according to a new report by the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice.
Two opposing schools of thought dominate the automation conversation. One says that it willtake pressure off of overworked humans and make everyone better off. The other insists that robots will replace workers andtake all of our jobs.
The IPPR said that the challenge will come in the fair sharing of the benefits of automation. If this happens, the IPPR sees a future ‘where prosperity is underpinned by justice, with a more equitable distribution of wealth, income and working time'.
Without controls the equality divide could get worse: society as a whole will be richer, but that wealth will be even further concentrated at one end of the socio-economic scale.
One of the IPPR's conclusions is new models of collective ownership are required to ensure that everyone has a claim on the dividends of technological change, to enable automation to work for the common good.