Following President Biden’s Executive Order establishing new standards for artificial intelligence (AI) safety and security, the National Safety Council (NSC) pointed out that use of AI can help with workplace safety.
The NSC believes “data and AI can be used to gain insights into workplace safety programs and that employers can apply those same insights and technology to reduce the risk of serious injuries and fatalities for workers.”
‘Promise of productivity, dangers of increased surveillance, bias’
President Biden’s Executive Order was meant to ensure that the U.S. “leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of AI” while protecting privacy, advancing civil rights, standing up for consumers and workers, and promoting innovation and competition.
The Executive Order points out that AI offers not only “the promise of improved productivity but also the dangers of increased workplace surveillance, bias, and job displacement” and to mitigate these risks the U.S. must “support workers’ ability to bargain collectively, and invest in workforce training and development that is accessible to all.”
NSC: AI must be ‘people centered, without bias, and correct’
The NSC agreed with the tenets of the Executive Order and issued a statement doubling down on its assertions that technology, including AI, can be used to improve worker safety. Through its Work to Zero initiative, the organization has been promoting the use of technology for workplace safety for the past five years.
“Some of the prevailing AI technologies include machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, as well as predictive and prescriptive analytics engines,” the NSC said. “All these technologies serve as powerful tools to identify risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders and other injuries, reduce employee incidents and streamline manual tasks.”
AI has made an impact among U.S. jobs and workplaces, but there are several barriers to widespread adoption, according to the NSC. Investing in worker training on the use of AI to do jobs “safely and securely is the key, as AI has the power to help improve safety and health outcomes in the workplace.”
This technology must be “people centered, without bias, and correct,” the NSC said, while promising to support employers as they consider the safety and security of workers and other stakeholders “in this changing landscape.”