12/07/17 EP Committee CULT has productive dialogue with VP Andrus Ansip

July 11 – Vice President Andrus Ansip takes part in structured dialogue with Parliamentary committee for culture and education (CULT) to discuss progress on digital strategy. 

A number of questions were fielded from the Committee members, including from Elena Gentile (S&D, ITA), raised the issue of ‘fake news’ on platforms, asking how the Commission foresees combatting the dissipation of such disinformation, while Luigi Morgano (S&D, ITA) spoke of Europeans’ fears of the implications of Artificial Intelligence and robotisation for the labour market. The issue of digital skills for the next generation of the European workforce was also raised. 

Ansip underlined to the importance of digital skills with reference to successful European initiatives such as Coding Week. He also made clear, that age should not be seen as a barrier to developing digital skills, and called on employers to make lifelong learning of their workers a reality. He also made reference to the unacceptable gender gap in ICT industry, and called for solutions to encourage girls and women into this field.

He also sought to assuage fears of the impact of AI on the job market, alluding to the fact that progress has historically always been good for the job market as a whole, while also warning that it was inevitable that some jobs would be lost to robots, making it doubly important to encourage continued professional development. He also alluded to the example of Germany to highlight how AI has led to ‘re-shoring’ of manufacturing jobs previously lost to countries with cheaper labour markets. 

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