We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Robots' human rights - Cllr Jack Cohen's Christmas message

December 17, 2015 11:39 PM
By Cllr Jack Cohen in Barnet Press

Councillor Jack Cohen"Can robots be the victims of harassment in the workplace?" - this headline caught my eye.

The article that followed points out that the Bank of England has warned up to 15 million British jobs are under threat from automation.

The article argues that managing a mixed workforce of both humans and virtual employees throws up a number of ethical issues, but that perhaps robots' entitlement to human rights is a debate for the future.

What has this to do with a Christmas message?

Well it is arguably a lot more real, dynamic and interesting than what goes on at Barnet Council. It is also a distraction from the past year, which has seen more than its fair share of human tragedy, suffering and terror.

Many have lost their loved ones, friends and companions. We mourn the passing of showbiz stars who entertained us, cheered us up and made us laugh - Ron Moody, Cilia Black and Warren Mitchell, to name but three.

Another newspaper article also caught my eye. It showed a photo of happy Indonesian children queueing at a horse and cart to borrow books from a mobile library.

The owner of the cart, Ridwan Sururi, and his pony Luna travel through rural Indonesia every week giving children a chance to read for free and helping them to improve their access to books.

Here we talk about robots taking over our jobs, driverless cars and libraries closing. We've come a long way, or have we?

I send warm wishes to all readers for a very merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, festive greetings and happy New Year from Barnet Liberal Democrats.