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Social Implications of Technological Disruptions: A Transdisciplinary Cybernetics Science and Occupational Science Perspective
  • Pedro H. Albuquerque ,
  • Sophie Albuquerque
Pedro H. Albuquerque
Aix-Marseille Université and ACCELERATION & ADAPTATION, Aix-Marseille Université and ACCELERATION & ADAPTATION

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Sophie Albuquerque
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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.
18 May 2023Published in 2023 IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science, and Technology (ETHICS). 10.1109/ETHICS57328.2023.10154939