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The foreseeable wealth gap in the automated future

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 15701 | 30 January 2023

Mr Björn Leví GUNNARSSON, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Thórhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Sibel ARSLAN, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Romilda BALDACCHINO ZARB, Malta, SOC ; Ms Margreet De BOER, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Naomi CACHIA, Malta, SOC ; Mr Edmunds CEPURĪTIS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Irakli CHIKOVANI, Georgia, SOC ; Ms Heike ENGELHARDT, Germany, SOC ; Ms Aurora FLORIDIA, Italy, SOC ; Mr Fabian FUNKE, Germany, SOC ; Ms Cressida GALEA, Malta, SOC ; Mr Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Ms Berglind Ósk GUÐMUNDSDÓTTIR, Iceland, EC/DA ; Ms Cécile HEMMEN, Luxembourg, SOC ; Mr Bjarni JÓNSSON, Iceland, UEL ; Mr Kimmo KILJUNEN, Finland, SOC ; Ms Marica MONTEMAGGI, San Marino, SOC ; Mr George PAPANDREOU, Greece, SOC ; Mr Indrek SAAR, Estonia, SOC ; Mr Axel SCHÄFER, Germany, SOC

Recent technological advancements in artificial intelligence, fission, cultured food and other areas of automation offer incredible opportunities for prosperity for all humankind. But with great progress come great risks of inequality. While technological advancements have been very successful at reducing costs and creating jobs, they have also widened the wealth gap between those that control the means of automation and those that consume its produce.

It is essential to look towards the future, in a world where artificial intelligence, fission and cultured food give humankind virtually limitless access to knowledge, energy and sustenance. It will be a similar revolution to these industries as digital media was to copyright.

The European Social Charter (treaty No. 163) outlines safeguards for economic and social progress and the social rights workers have. But, in the automated world, there will be few to no workers in the fields that provide basic needs like energy and food. There is the distinct possibility that this could cause an economic and social shift like the world has never seen towards enriching the few at the expense of the many. At the same time, the opposite is also a possibility – greater equality and end of poverty. But if history is any judge, the end of poverty will not happen without actively working towards that outcome.

The Council of Europe should examine the possibilities of these groundbreaking technological advances and the possible effects they can have on society and the challenges both economic and social rights will be affected. These technologies can be the tools to end poverty, hunger and war or become yet another piece in the endless puzzle of strife driven by greed and monopoly.