00:36 GMT +321 January 2020
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    Plans announced by Britain's Labour party to investigate the impact robots will have on people's jobs has been blasted as "ignorant" and "patronizing" by robotics expert and futurologist, Ray Hammond.

    According to Ray Hammond, the announcement by deputy leader Tom Watson that Labour would launch an investigation into the so-called "fourth industrial revolution" is "fear mongering."

    The Fourth Industrial Revolution

    Watson is set to unveil the inquiry into the future of Britain's workforce, as part of his speech at Labour's annual party conference in Liverpool.

    "I understand why they may need to discuss the topic. But they're representing it as some kind of apocalypse — which it isn't," Mr. Hammond told Sputnik.

    The inquiry will be co-chaired by Watson and barrister Helen Mountfield QC and joined by philosophy professor Michael Sandel, Naomi Climer, who is the president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and MP Jon Cruddas.

    "The world of work — the heart of our lives and the center of our Labour identity — is getting ever more complex and uncertain," Watson will say in his speech.

    "Complex,because new automated technologies are fusing with the Internet, and creating models of work and jobs we haven't seen before."

    ​"Daily we hear stories of machines and systems that can do things we thought only humans could do: driving cars, drafting contracts, even composing music." 

    "It's been called the 'fourth industrial revolution,' a new era of fast technology driven change, which we're beginning to feel in everything we do," Watson will tell the audience in Liverpool.

    Words, futurologist Ray Hammond describes as "patronizing" and "ignorant."

    "It seems to be an extremely ignorant approach. But it may well be that the Labour party feels it needs to talk down or patronize its followers," Mr. Hammond told Sputnik.   

    "We already know about the automation of jobs and robotics and that they're going to free-up workers to do other work — rather than replicate jobs and take them over in the next ten years."

    Mr. ​Hammond suggests that successive cycles of automation are already happening in industries which have seen workers moved into different areas rather than being replaced by robots, causing wholesale unemployment.

    "Automation has already seen the end to bank clerks, type setters and yet there seems to be an unending demand for things we never knew we wanted. New jobs have clearly been created as our economy has grown with automation replacing old jobs."

    ​This will continue for the next ten years, it will be the same process," sad the futurologist, who predicts that "20 years from now — it'll be a different story."


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    future, replacement, robots, Artificial Intelligence (AI), workers, conference, warning, robotics, technology, British Labour Party, Labour party, Tom Watson, Jeremy Corbyn, United Kingdom, Liverpool
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