Humans Need Not Apply! On the relationship between Artificial Intelligence and Inclusive Growth
On Wednesday 6th February 2019 the Heseltine Institute hosted a Northern Powerhouse Higher Education Mini-Conference on the relationship between artificial intelligence and inclusive growth. Professor Dinah Birch (PVC Cultural Engagement) and Professor Mark Boyle (Director, Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place) were joined by a number of quality speakers, including keynotes from Lord Robert Kerslake, Chair of UK 2070 Commission and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, from across the region and beyond from industry, politics, academia and civic life to ask why Northern Powerhouse leaders (and Northern Powerhouse Local Industrial Strategies) might best attend to both Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Inclusive Growth (IG).
In the light of the 2017 White Paper Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future, it is clear that the UK government and, in preparing their Local Industrial Strategies (LISs), Northern Powerhouse Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs), Combined Authorities (CAs) and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), will need to attend to two critical historical forces: the rise of big data and artificial intelligence and growing social and spatial inequalities. The first will energise a Fourth Industrial Revolution, the latter has already birthed a cri-de-coeur on behalf of the ‘left behinds’ and a demand that future growth be inclusive. Productivity and social justice have always made for awkward bedfellows, but it is a particular concern that these two forces might act in contradictory ways. Is confrontation inevitable? Can public policy do anything to effect their reconciliation?