Deputy Leader of Labour Party On How The Party Will Use AI

Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of The Labour Party, has been a labour politician for the 20 years he's been in politics. He follows the ideology of the parties previous leader(Tony Blair) causing some opposition with Jeremy Corbyn (the current leader of The Labour Party).

Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of The Labour Party

Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of The Labour Party

 

One of the reasons he stands out from the various prominent politicians is his passion and enthusiasm for technology. Aside from being a gamer and one of the main figures behind the “Future Of Work Commission” , he is known for being a voice to trust when the discussion moves towards tech related issues in parliament, such as the recent talks surrounding privacy. After he was elected into his position within the party he said his goal was to bring what he called a “digital revolution in the Labour Party’”, which involves improving communications with voters as well as increasing the parties member’s overall tech-knowledge.

 

Watson has made it clear that he thinks the conservative party’s (the current ruling party in the united kingdom) latest attempts at growing AI start-ups through  the “Industrial Strategy” fail to address the future unemployment the rise in AI will cause.

 

He also thinks larger firms such as Google and Amazon play a detrimental role in the market by buying up all the new start-ups to keep their monopoly positions, and paying less than the government think they should be paying in tax revenue, showing his support for government intervention and rejection of the current laissez-faire approach

We have to stop giant technology companies hoovering up all our creative start-ups in the digital and media space and becoming monopolies that prevent new media models from having any chance of competing in the new media market. It’s the government’s job to get that market right, and they are failing to do so.
— Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of The Labour Party

One of the largest issues, Watson reckons, is automation and its future role in the economy.

Unlike previous waves of industrial progress, it is not just working-class [manual] jobs that automation threatens. Automated systems are diagnosing diseases, writing annual reports, researching criminal cases in court, designing software, and pouring our coffee.
— Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of The Labour Party

If the trend continues it is clear the only ones who benefit from AI will be those who own and develop the technologies, leading to even higher levels of inequality in the UK.

Overall Watson believes there are solutions to decreases inequality and make sure the benefits of AI are felt by everyone. One of these solutions is to create a new institution that bring together all economic agents involved in AI and its development and “establish how the time liberated and wealth created” by AI is shared equally. He also thinks the rise of AI can lead to certain regions in the country currently suffering from decline of certain industries see an increase in employment and output.

EthicsArturo Dezon