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Title: AI and the Future of Work: a perspective from Care
Authors: Villegas Galaviz, Carolina
Fernández Fernández, José Luis
With the introduction of AI, the nature of work changes (Floridi et al., 2018; Moradi & Levy, 2020). Automation and the use of AI to management decision-making lead to new kinds of jobs (more than elimination), then: there is a tendency to left humans (in the future of work) to “soft/feeling” skills or tasks, leaving thinking tasks to AI (Huang et al., 2019). We see in this fact (humans allocating thinking skills to socio-technological systems) what some scholars are naming as “organized immaturity”: The phenomenon of organized immaturity is a manifestation of a human condition that results from the erosion of the autonomy of the individual and is advanced by socio-technological systems and their surveillance and control mechanisms . There are many ethical issues in this stream (like responsibility, fairness, values, and the like.). However, in this paper, we will take up what follows: since the delegation of reasoning skills to socio-technological systems is unstoppable (imaging trying to stop at all the use of previous technologies as the steam engine, ICT, automobiles, etc.), we accept that the "nature of work continues to change as new technologies are introduced" (Johnson, 2015, p. 708) and it will to the line stated: but we propose that how it is changing should be comprehended with the notion of care, proposed in the theory of ethics of care. This means that the tasks that now humans would do are the ones of care (the proposition is a way to see the change in the nature of work and a way to cover it). Moreover, we propose care should always be a task of humans that must be in all processes: this means that in reasoning tasks and decision-making, humans should be in charge of care. Since its inception, the notion of care has been developing, starting from the first definitions of care that seemed more ambiguous into a more rigorous definition. Based on previous works, Daniel Engster (2011, p.98) proposed a definition of care ethics as a “theory that associates moral action with meeting the needs, fostering the capabilities, and alleviating the pain and suffering of individuals inattentive, responsive, and respectful ways.” That is the definition that we will follow. The ethics of care have been applied to different areas in the business world since the 1990s (Melé, 2014). Also, there is an insightful edited handbook about the topic; Applying Care Ethics to Business (Sander-Staudt & Hamington, 2011). This theory has been used to analyze the pro-environmental behavior of employees (Paillé et al., 2016), also to investigate corporate philanthropy (Cranenburgh & Arenas, 2014), crisis management (Sandin, 2009), creative people’s attitudes towards business (Alascovska & Bissonnette, 2019), as well as when analyzing labor relations in small companies at a local level (Lähdesmäki, 2019). However, this theory has not yet been used to study the ethical dimension of technological innovations in business organizations or analyze AI's role and its ethical implication in management decision-making. Hence, our research question should be: how can ethics of care protect humans’ autonomy within an “organized immaturity society” and work? The idea of humans dedicated to "soft" tasks while AI is making big and important decisions could lead society into an organized immaturity, which would be difficult to surpass and could have negative consequences. After first proposing the need for an AI-human interaction in decision-making within organizations, we will propose care ethics as moral grounding for the new business era. The said implies that algorithms should be care-based when making decisions in companies. Our proposal direct to both developers and users of AI models and wants to address all stakeholders' needs. We aim to contribute with the propositions of Ethics of Care as a moral framework that would better illuminate the issues around an “organized immaturity society”. We take care as a practice and a work that must be done on a direct level (Sander-Staudt & Hamington, 2011). Within our framework, humans are in charge of putting aside the general standard (proposed by algorithms): and of applying the concrete situation, circumstances, and context in management decision-making. Hence, humans are in charge of considering the vulnerability and interdependence of individuals while making decisions in organizations (and in every step, not the end).
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