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Social implications of technological disruptions: A transdisciplinary cybernetics science and occupational science perspective

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posted on 2023-07-17, 03:31 authored by Pedro H. AlbuquerquePedro H. Albuquerque, Sophie Albuquerque

In this article we argue that the disruptive social implications of skill-replacing technological innovations are determined neither by human characteristics, such as “low skills” or “low cognition,” nor by task characteristics, such as “routine,” as it is typically assumed in the predominant economics and management science literature, but by the cybernetic characteristics of the innovations. We also propose that the negative effects of technological disruptions on human well-being cannot be fully understood without the use of a transdisciplinary approach involving cybernetics science and occupational science, and that it is urgent that policymakers look beyond their narrow effects on productivity and on the labor force, and consider instead the complexity of the interactions between cybernetic technologies and meaningful human occupations. We offer as an example the case of the fast adoption of online food delivery services and of remote work technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethical implications are derived from the arguments.


French National Research Agency ANR-17-EURE-0020

Excellence Initiative of Aix-Marseille University - A*MIDEX


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Aix-Marseille Université and ACCELERATION & ADAPTATION

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  • France