IAM Canada Demands a Seat on Government’s Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence

GVP Chartrand

by Frank Saptel

TORONTO, ON – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM Canada) is demanding workers be represented on the Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence (AI), a council created in 2019 to advise the Government of Canada on building Canada’s strengths and global leadership in AI.

The Advisory Council includes leading AI experts from Canadian industry, civil society, academia, and government. The IAM points out that workers, the group most impacted by AI technology, is without a seat on a government advisory council created to harness the potential of AI.

“History has shown the dangers of allowing business to regulate itself, there is still so much we’ve yet to learn about the impact of AI, said David Chartrand, IAM Canada General Vice-President, adding that, it is precisely because of this uncertainty, that government must include all stakeholders into the process of devising a national strategy.

I cannot stress how urgent this is” said Dave Chartrand. Workers, especially those who are negatively impacted by the implementation of automation and artificial intelligence need to have their voices heard. Just to be clear, we are not against artificial intelligence or automation. What we want is make sure workers aren’t left behind in the rush to implementing technologies that are affecting our ability to earn and support our families.”

The effects of artificial intelligence (AI) on employment have garnered a lot of interest as we hear about technological advancements daily. COVID-19, in particular, has spurred the adoption of new ways of conducting business, most of which require ways to avoid direct contact to reduce transmission. The IAM published a report on the impact of AI on the workforce.

Our report, titled “Charting Change: Workers’ Voices in an Automated World,” focused on AI technology and its impact on Canadian jobs. The report offers conclusions and recommendations from focus groups with union members who voiced their worries and daily realities with automation.

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