AIM Research Centre for Work and Organization
As the field of artificial intelligence continues to grow, the development and implementation of everything from learning algorithms to intelligent robots is changing how we work and organize. Understanding how this is happening is the focus of this research center. The Center supports research projects on the nature and impact of AI and related technologies in the workplace in three domains:
As AI applications take on a variety of tasks, we aim to study the implications for work and organizational governance. Grounded research in places of work has the potential to answer these and related questions.
- How are jobs and work changing? What are the implications for coordination, expertise, and authority? How does human-machine interaction and collaboration change the workplace? How do interactions with intelligent machines change the meaning and experience of work? How do these implications vary across jobs, organizations, and industries?
- How will organizations assess and leverage complementarities between humans and machines? How will human intelligence be evaluated and valued? How will organizations make choices about what machines and humans will do?
- How are organizations adapting their strategy and structure in relation to such changes? How will the role of managers change? How is the design of authority and communication structures shifting?
- How do those who create AI and AI-related technologies – designers, data scientists, computer scientists, roboticists, and engineers – understand their role and responsibilities? How do they work together to develop, test, and implement AI technologies in work places? What roles are emerging in this space?
Human Resources and Labor Markets:
The Human Resource function is undergoing significant change as analytics are used to assess and monitor the workforce, and inform decision-making. Rather than engage in the activities of people analytics, the goal is to understand the use and consequences of these tools through close, rigorous study. We also support studies of labor markets that examine changing job prospects and employment stability, employment relations, and opportunities for wage and career growth.
- What are the implications of people analytics tools for performance? How do workers experience and respond to intensified measurement and surveillance? Can these tools be used to increase productivity, reduce turn-over, and improve satisfaction? What biases and assumptions are introduced, and how are these managed?
- What are the implications for labor markets? How are institutional actors preparing for potential shifts in employment demand? How might regions and communities prepare for predictions of work without employment? How might meaningful, occupying activities replace notions of work as employment? How might labor agreements, codes, and laws change?
All technological change raises issues of governance, responsibility, and values. Across industries and within organizations, AI renews questions about technological choice (versus determinism), stakeholder consultation and collaboration, and ethical and normative responsibility. Going beyond questions at an abstract level, we support studies of real world efforts by organizations, unions, associations, and NGOs to address these questions.
- Who is responsible within and across organizations for generating reflection and dialogue on technological choices and consequences? How can the biases and values built into the design of technologies be made transparent and subject to monitoring within organizations?
- Should we face large-scale change in employment demands, how might wealth be redistributed? What responsibilities do firms have to stakeholders as they implement and profit from replacing human activities and tasks with machines?
- How might this technological shift be mobilized to question the dominant role of corporations and capital in society? How might different economic models be generated and tested? How might the economic benefits of AI be distributed beyond shareholders?
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