Automation, Work and the Achievement Gap

AI and Ethics 1 (3):227–237 (2021)
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Rapid advances in AI-based automation have led to a number of existential and economic concerns. In particular, as automating technologies develop enhanced competency they seem to threaten the values associated with meaningful work. In this article, we focus on one such value: the value of achievement. We argue that achievement is a key part of what makes work meaningful and that advances in AI and automation give rise to a number achievement gaps in the workplace. This could limit people’s ability to participate in meaningful forms of work. Achievement gaps are interesting, in part, because they are the inverse of the (negative) responsibility gaps already widely discussed in the literature on AI ethics. Having described and explained the problem of achievement gaps, the article concludes by identifying four possible policy responses to the problem.

Author Profiles

John Danaher
University College, Galway
Sven Nyholm
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München


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