The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Future of Work (‘the APPG’) brings together Parliamentarians, industry and civil society to foster understanding of the challenges and opportunities of technology and the future of work. We collaborate to develop practical solutions that will shape a future of better work across the UK.
As part of our mission to advance understanding and practical solutions to shape a future of better work, our inquiry was established in May 2021 in response to growing public concern about AI and surveillance in the workplace and the Institute for the Future of Work’s report The Amazonian Era. Our inquiry, which ran from May to July 2021, examined the use and implications of surveillance and other AI technologies used at work; and considered practical policy solutions to meet the challenges and opportunities we have found.
This report outlines the APPG’s key findings and recommendations based on the evidence about AI at work that we have considered. Our recommendations are aimed at ensuring our AI ecosystem is genuinely human-centred, principles-driven and accountable to shape a future of better work. They are centred around a proposal for an Accountability for Algorithms Act (‘the AAA’).
The AAA offers an overarching, principles-driven framework for governing and regulating AI in response to the fast-changing developments in workplace technology we have explored throughout our inquiry. It incorporates updates to our existing regimes for regulation, unites them and fills their gaps, whilst enabling additional sector-based rules to be developed over time. The AAA would establish; a clear direction to ensure AI puts people first, governance mechanisms to reaffirm human agency, and drive excellence in innovation to meet the most pressing needs faced by working people across the country.
Our focus is the frontier of changes to work but our recommendations inform the wider debate about AI governance and regulation as part of the UK’s AI Strategy.
The proposals we make are not restricted to AI alone, because it is not always possible, or helpful, to isolate AI from other forms of significant algorithmic decision-making. In this report, we use the term ‘algorithmic systems’ in recognition of the fact that both fully automated and semi-automated decision making technologies rely on wider human decision making processes to impact work.