Content

3. Information Society in:

Henry Alexander Wittke

Artificial Intelligence, page 17 - 32

An Approach to Assess the Impact on the Information Economy

1. Edition 2020, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4459-9, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-7480-0, https://doi.org/10.5771/9783828874800-17

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
3. Information Society The information society is a highly abstract and diverse discussed con cept of modern industrialized countries, which meaning and develop ment have been described very differently in the past. There is a consen sus in the literature that the concept of modem information societies is due to massive societal changes from the second half of the 20th century until modern days, but no consensus when exactly individual countries entered this age of society. The term is also referred to knowledge socie ty, post-industrial society, network society or information age. Depend ing on the focus of the research and the interests involved, various char acteristics are identified and presented for the information society. In general, the term information society can be characterized as important social developments linked to the use of information as well as infor mation and communication technology. Based on a few definitions which seem suitable for the purpose of this research, information society is described as a form of economy and society in which the extraction, storage, processing, communication, dissemination and use of infor mation and knowledge, including growing technical possibilities of in teractive communication, plays a crucial role (cf. Kamps 1999: 245; Beniger 1986: 4ff.; Webster 2014; Martin 2005: 4f.) However, based on the fact that the typology of the information society is so different, the following illustration will cover different ap proaches: Dicontinuity (Radical Change) Network Society Internet Society Virtual Society Post-Industrial Society, Postmodern Society, Knowledge-Based Society, Cyber Society Typologie of Information Society Theories Knowledge Economy, Objective Subjective ^ ictnnuiugy ^ Context: Capitalism j Digital Capitalism, Cognition, Communication Immaterial Labour, Virtual Capitalism, Informatic Capitalism, High-Tech Capitalism Multitude vs. Empire, Cognitive Capitalism, Reflexive Modernization Conti nuity Figure IV: Typology o f Information Society Theories. Source: Own graphic, simi lar: Fuchs 2012: 415. 17 Shown by this illustration the information society theory discourse can then be theoretically categorized by making use of two axes. The vertical axis distinguishes aspects of societal change, the horizontal axis the in formational qualities of these changes (cf. Fuchs 2012: 414f.). 3.1. The Birth o fa Concept From today's scientific perspective, the most relevant ideas of the infor mation society were already formulated from I960 to 1980 and elaborat ed within the framework of concepts of knowledge and post-industrial society. At the heart of these concepts lay the analysis of the influence which the increasing role of information and information technologies exerted on the social and economic changes within the societies of that time of Western Europe, USA and Canada or Japan (cf. Kasperkiewicz 2004: 309). Essential theoretical foundations for the information society put the American economist Peter F. Drucker in its work 1969 under the designation knowledge society, based on a previous book from 1962 of Fritz Machlup „The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States“ . Machlup described the beginning of a so-called infor mation economy and most people agree that he started it all, although he used the term knowledge industry and not information society. However, he showed that the production of knowledge is an economic activity and is describable with the terms used in the analysis of the industrial sector. In addition to Machlup, Drucker coined the term of the so-called knowledge worker in 1967. He predicted the emergence of a knowledgebased society based on a major increase in the average level of educa tion. As a result of educational expansion in the US, knowledge became a key factor in production, and the knowledge worker the most important figure in the American workforce (cf. Klotz 2009: 4; Duff 1996: 118; Reinecke 2010: 4; Drucker 1969; Karvalic 2007: 6). Later, in his book 1969, he based the concept of the knowledge society on the central thesis that knowledge has become the very basis of the modem economy and society or the real principle of social action (cf. Drucker 1969: 326, Engelhardt 2010: 22). However, information society was not only the subject of eco nomics or information systems but also of sociology. Daniel Bell, Amer ican sociologist and professor of Harvard University from 1970 to 1990, coined the term of the post-industrial society since 1958 and is recog nized to be the foremost writer on the information society. It is argued 18 that Bells position has always contained three distinct elements (cf. Klotz 2009: 4; Duff 1998: 373; Webster 2006). “One relating to the post-industrial information workforce, a sec ond dealing with information flows (particularly scientific knowledge), and a third concerning computers and the information revolution. Bell’s information society thesis is best understood as a synthesis o f these elements.” (Duff 1998: 373). He explains this in „The Coming Post-Industrial Society“ from 1976, which can be considered paradigmatic for the idea of a profound struc tural change in industrial society (cf. Bell 1976; Steinbiecker 2011: 50). In regard to the birth of the exact expression of information so ciety, the concept is also linked to the Japanese terms „Joho Shakai“ and „Johoka Shakai“ . Joho shakai is usually translated into English as the information society but has also been rendered as an informationoriented society, information-conscious society and information-centered society. Johoka Shakai has a sense analogous to industrialized society but is also translated sometimes merely information society. Against this backdrop, the term first emerged in Japanese social sciences in the early 1960’s. The first English language reference dates are from 1970 and have to be linked to Yoneji Masuda, who used the expression in his lec ture at a conference and appeared in print in the same year. Moreover, in 1971 a systematizing dictionary on information society was published from Johoka Shakai Jiten and many Japanese publications followed (cf. Karvalics 2007: 5f; Duff 1996: 118f.). „the realization of a society that brings about a general flourishing state o f human intellectual creativity, instead o f affluent material consumption'1 (Masuda 1980: 3). Masuda interpreted information society as a positive development for humanity, although many new challenges are imminent. More recently but also relevant for the concept of the information society is the sociol ogist Manuel Castells, the renown sociologist of Berkeley University and author of the groundbreaking book of the so-called Information Age. He claims by long-standing research in more than thirty countries of the world that a new kind of society comes into being - the so-called net work society. Castells presented 1996 to 1998 three research publica tions on this Information Age. First „The Rise of the Network Society“, second „The Power of Identity“ and third „The End of the Millennium^ 19 His extensive research has been in the wake of capitalist restructuring and based on the revolution in information and communication technol ogies (cf. Castells 1996: 28ff.). In contrast to Drucker's post-capitalist society and Beil's post-industrial society, Castells speaks of a rejuvenat ed, informal capitalism based on informationalism, a new mode of de velopment (cf. Castells 1996: 77; Steinbiecker 2011: 79f; Kasperkiewicz 2004: 310). 3.2. Basic Characteristics Fundamental to the concept of an information society for this research is the social development from an industrial society to a service society based on knowledge in the second half of the 20th century as well as the increase of information processing activities. Information was henceforth described as a distinguishing feature of the modem world. Thus we were entered in an information age, an e-society and stepped into an economy driven by information. For example, British sociologist Frank Webster distinguished five definitions with characteristics of an information soci ety, each of which presents criteria for identifying the new. First techno logical innovation, second occupational change, third economic value, fourth information flows and fifth the expansion of symbols and signs. The theoretical criterion that he used to classify information society the ories is the dimension of society that they primarily focus on. These need not be mutually exclusive, though researcher emphasizes one or other factors in presenting their particular scenarios. However, what these def initions share is the conviction that quantitative changes in information are bringing into being a qualitatively new sort of social system so-called information society. So each definition reasons in much the same way: there is much more information nowadays; therefore information society exists. Webster mentioned as we shall see, there are severe difficulties with this ex-post facto reasoning that argues a cause from a conclusion (cf. Webster 2014: 10f.; Webster 2006: 2, Fuchs 2012: 414). By taking a closer look at all the different authors and their con cepts of information society summarized in the last chapter, there are some common characteristics. Based on these theories, especially on the publications of Drucker, Bell, and Castells, information societies can be described as follows. By that six fundamental dimensions can be consid ered as the formal framework of an information society: First were identified new productive forces and new principles of value creation where knowledge, innovation, and technical development - as 20 opposed to labor, machinery, capital, energy or land - play a crucial role. The new productive forces should demarcate the information society qualitatively from the industrial society. Second, new information and communication technologies are the guiding technology and the epitome of structural change (cf. Steinbicker 2011: 9; Berthoud 2003: 388; May 2000: 3ff.). Moreover, they are paradigmatic for the new knowledgebased industries and play an important role in the transformation of the division of labor, organization, and administration. Third, an organiza tional change, as the information society goes away from the hierarchical bureaucracy, which was regarded as the organizational model of indus trial society. Therefore, new forms and problems of the division of labor of knowledge workers are discussed. Fourth, the structural change of work. Manual activities evolve into high information or knowledgebased activities. Thus, there was an increase in occupations with higher education requirements, which is why from a political perspective, this structural change is assigned central importance. The group of so-called knowledge workers occupies a strategic position in the information soci ety and can be seen as the winner of the transformation process. Im portant quantitative indicators are thus the growth of the service or in formation sector in the economy together with the change of occupation al structure, which is reflected in the increasing importance of adminis trative, professional and technical occupations. Fifth, the shifts in the stratification system. Within the information society, education should play the decisive role. Bell even talks about an upcoming meritocracy. Sixth the power structures such as the role of the state and the relation ship between the state and the economy changed fundamentally in com parison to the previous industrial societies (cf. Steinbicker 2011: 9f., Machlup 1962: 48, Bell 1976). Overall, the emergence of the concept of the information society was part of the mentioned technological revolution and significant social changes. The central characteristics of the new social formation include not only information but also service and knowledge (cf. Bell 1976: IX; Kleinsteuber 1999: 22; Drucker 2011: 17ff.; Masuda 1981: 3). Infor mation and knowledge processing dominate as a form of production and becomes the decisive growth driver of the ongoing industry. However, this also means that the information society as a whole relies on both the necessary knowledge being made available and access to information simplified (cf. Tully 1994: 19). Overall, dealing with information be comes so much a part of our private and professional life that infor mation as an object of action becomes the paradigm of the social consti 21 tution. As a result, societies emerging focus is no longer on material ob jects, but on information activities, which occupy a significant part of human life, both at work and at leisure (cf. Klotz 2009: 17). All in all the concept of information society gained enormous sig nificance from politics during the 1990s. During that time the infor mation society experienced its renaissance primarily as a political help concept to cover the most visible changes in prevailing societies. Its im portance was emphasized by converging trends such as individualization and globalization, with related technological advances (cf. Kleinsteuber 1999: 26; Bode 1997: 25f., Steinbicker: 7). Politicians, business leaders and policymakers around the globe have taken the information society idea to their hearts during that time. They assumed that information and communication technologies would have a decisive influence on the de sign of the information society of the 21st century (cf. Glowalla 1996: 27). Overall, support for the further development of the Information So ciety at the end of the 20th century was seen as an overall policy field, nationally, supranationally, and internationally or globally In this way, an adaptation to a global information society should be promoted (cf. Klotz 2009: 5; Webster 2006: 2). 3.2.1. The Rise oflCT Information and communications technologies mean the infrastructure and components that enable modem computing. Although there is no universal definition of ICT, the term is generally accepted to mean all devices, networking components, applications and systems that com bined allow people and organizations to interact in the digital world (cf. Rouse 2018). In terms of the concept of an information society, it is re lated to modernity and progress orientation. As far as concretization is concerned, as already mentioned in the previous chapter, the advantages of new information and communication techniques are emphasized. They have been described as the guiding technology and the epitome of structural change. Moreover, they are paradigmatic for the new knowledge-based industries and play an important role in the transfor mation of the division of labor, organization and administration (cf. Steinbicker 2011: 9; Berthoud 2003: 388). In the literature at the time of the emergence of the information society in the second half of the 20th century, it was often associated with Telecommunication in the course of the development of ICT, which was 22 said to spread very quickly using the new techniques (cf. Kleinsteuber 1999: 27f.). But also emerging technologies in computing or the early stage of the Internet have to be mentioned. On the whole, those respon sible in politics and business assumed that information and communica tion technologies will have a decisive influence on the design of the in formation society of the 21st century. To this day, it can not be denied, and there are always new and unexpected technical possibilities. The progressive mechanization of human communication is still an ongoing process (cf. Glowalla 1996: 27). For example, computer or internet-based ICT are already omnipresent today. Data networks are being expanded and becoming denser. Infor mation and communication technologies are increasingly determining our lives. For example, factory buildings, machine tools, production lines and entire production areas are already automated. Traders, suppli ers, banks, and customers are networked through information systems. State authorities manage citizens in huge databases. Even private life gets more and more penetrated by these technologies. It can be assumed that this rise of ICT will continue in the future. These technologies and the digital economy have the potential to transform the lives of billions of people, and by that also the information society. This will also cause massive changes in communication relationships. Advocates of this de velopments argue that society can be relieved of technology by doing boring, heavy or dangerous work. Life and work become more pleasant. In addition, human error sources can be eliminated, economic productiv ity increased and more information and knowledge made available to everyone in society. However, this technical development also involves many risks and can result in enormous damage in cases of abuse of ICT (cf. Roflnagel et al 2009: 5ff.; Telecommunication Union 2017). Regard ing the current market volume of the ICT industry, as well as the qualifi cation of ICT as a cross-sectional technology supports the concept of an information society. Nevertheless, the investigations of these facts with regard to their validity or reliability are partly called into question by a few scholars (cf. Klotz 2009: 14 ff.). All in all, it can be summarized that today's use of information and communication technologies forms is an important basis of a modem information society. This is illustrated, among other things, by the demonstrated everyday use of these technologies. Also, the ongoing digitalization is accompanied by further penetration of most societal spheres with ICT, which continuously changes the information society. 23 This chapter will illustrate how employment within the information soci ety look like and how it can be characterized from the perspective of theory. As mentioned, the concept of the information society based on many fundamental changes in the society and revolutionary developments, es pecially in information and communication technologies. Computers, the Internet, and smartphones among other inventions affect the social envi ronment, live and employment in modem information societies. Since not all of the impact can be captured in the course of this chapter, it will characterize a few. This includes the importance of information and the so-called knowledge worker because he frequently appears on the basis of the literature on the information society and is seen as an essential figure in the context of employment. In the course of this research, he should serve as a metaphor for the effects of information society on work in society and will be described in the last part of this chapter. Based on the research so far, the rise of ICT, Information, and knowledge have become keywords in the context of the information so ciety. Their impact on employment of the information society is signifi cant. For example, the use of computer-based work equipment is devel oping fast in the last two decades. In the 1990s it was already recognized that at the place where predominantly information is processed, these computer-based work tools have considerable influence on the quantity and quality of the work. So nowadays the entire information society is based on the computers, mobile phones or other information and com munication technology devices for professional purposes. So dealing with information becomes a big part of peoples professional life, and Information as an object of action becomes the paradigm of the social constitution. An information society emerges, in which no more acts on material objects are in the foreground, but information activities occupy a substantial portion of human employment, whether at work or leisure (cf. Klotz 2009: 14ff., Dostal 1995: 528). All of these changes and the use of powerful endpoints are the technical basis for a fundamental change in social behaviors, interpersonal relationships, and work. These are also increasingly shaped by the human-machine interaction, the im mediate social contact decreases (cf. Klotz 2009: 14ff.; Klotz 2003: 157ff.; Makridakis 2017:19ff.). 3.2.2. Employment Inside the Information Society 24 In the course of this mentioned technological change also the em ployment structures within the society changed and should be described briefly. At the end of the last century, emerging tech like computers and the Internet raised the relative productivity of higher-skilled workers. Routine-intensive occupations that focused on predictable, easilyprogrammable tasks were particularly vulnerable to replacement by new technologies. These occupations included for example switchboard oper ators, filing clerks, travel agents, and assembly line workers. Some of these occupations were virtually eliminated and demand for others re duced. Based on research it is suggested that technological innovation over this period increased the productivity of those engaged in abstract thinking, creative tasks, and problem-solving and was therefore at least partially responsible for the substantial growth in jobs employing such traits. So a shifting demand towards more skilled labor raised the relative income of this group, contributing to rising inequality (cf. U. S. Govern ment 2016). As part of the modem information society, the newly created jobs and thus new types of workers were described in second half of the 20th cen tury with terms like knowledge or information worker. From a theoreti cal perspective, the majority of people in the information society work in professions, which are characterized by the fact that almost all activities are based on information. From a theoretical perspective, the majority of people in the information society work in professions, which are charac terized by the fact that almost all activities based on information. They include the collection and acquisition of data, their evaluation, and pro cessing. Based on the concept of the information society developed so far, it is argued that most people work in such occupations. Correspond ing information and media literacy become necessary in order to be able to counteract the Hood of information and the resulting explosion of knowledge and to be able to use the increasing range of information for its own benefit (cf. Klotz 2009: 14 ff., Arriaga 1985: 272). This leads to a new type of work, which can be described as knowledge. It is differen tiated from other forms of work by its emphasis on non-routine problem solving that requires a combination of convergent and divergent thinking (cf. Reinhardt 2011; 150ff.). Based on the concept of the information society, the following part of the chapter will introduce as already mentioned at the beginning of this chapter the term knowledge worker. From a theoretical perspec tive, the so-called knowledge worker is an often quoted metaphor for characterizing live and work on an individual level in the information 25 society and still provides a substantial part of the sociology of profes sions (cf. Svarc 2016: 398). The literature on knowledge workers offers many different definitions and ideas, but for this research, they simpli fied to three approaches. First conceptual approaches, second job content approaches and third data (industry) driven approaches. Conceptual ap proaches explain knowledge worker from the complex point of view. For example employees’ importance for an organization, his style of work with knowledge, or education (cf. Davenport 2005, Drucker 1954, Lowe 2002, Reboul et al 2006). Data (industry) driven approaches understand as knowledge worker all those, who work in particular organizations or particular sectors or institutions (cf. Brinkley et al. 2009, Sveiby 1997). Job content approaches interpret knowledge worker as people who do a certain type of job. Across the different approaches, authors understand knowledge worker as a person who mainly creates, applies, and distrib utes knowledge. Employers highly regard him for his innovation and creativity. Also, he is driven by accomplishment and highly committed to what he is doing. A knowledge workers position requires continuous learning and improving (cf. Toffler 1990; Spira 2008; Reich 1992; Kidd 1994; Mladkova et al. 2015: 769f.; Mladkova 2015: 179). Likewise, this type of worker is characterized by a pronounced social competence, which manifests itself above all in the combination of social, profession al competences. The typology of knowledge worker roles suggested by them are a coordinator, helper, learner, researcher, problem-solver, networker, organizer, and communicator (cf. Reinhardt 2011: 150ff.; Klotz 2009S.19ff.). Overall, the knowledge of the knowledge worker represents his means of production, which he can dispose freely of. Thus, knowledge workers are mobile and independent (cf. Drucker 1999: 37; Drucker 1959; Dav enport 2005). Drucker sees his productivity as the most valuable asset in the 21st century. If this is unfolded, innovations can emerge. For this re search, it should be assumed that the main characteristics of this concept of the information worker still exist today, although it is not uncontroversial. All in all, it can be summarized that modem employment in the information society is characterised by the use of ICT, the importance of information and the metaphor of the so-called knowledge worker. 26 Based on the concept of the information society developed so far, this chapter will concentrate on its economic dimension. It will characterise the concept of the so-called information economy, also referred to the term knowledge-based information economy, post-industrial economy and the newly created information sector. In general, it characterizes an economy in which information, knowledge, and services are more valu able than manufacturing. The technological respectively digital devel opments associated with the revolution in instruments of knowledge and the growth in ICT or computer-based systems has accelerated the shift of industrialized countries from manufacturing-based economies toward service-based economies (cf. Cambridge Dictionary 2018; Porat 1998: lO lff). Knowledge has been at the heart of economic growth and the gradual rise in levels of social well-being since time immemorial. The ability to invent and innovate, that is, to create new knowledge and ideas that are then embodied in products, processes, and organizations, has always served to fuel development. There have always been organiza tions or institutions capable of creating and disseminating knowledge. However, information economy or knowledge-based economy is a re cently coined term. Its use is meant to signify a change from the econo mies of earlier periods, more a „sea change“ than a sharp discontinuity (cf. David 2003: 20). The first calculations for the Information Economy had been developed by economists in the USA. The pioneering American work on this con cept was carried out by Machlup in 1962. In a seminal investigation of those engaged in the production and distribution of knowledge, he meas ured the expenditures on knowledge production and its importance to the economy of the united states at this time (cf. Trauth 2000: 6; Karvalics 2007: 6; Machlup 1962). Based on Machlups concept of this knowledge industry, Porats follow-up study of the American information economy in the 1970th added greater refinement to this emerging concept and was repeated in other countries. Porat constructed an independent fourth sec tor, the so-called information sector (cf. Klotz 2009: 8f.; Porat 1977). For that, he divides the workforce into four sectors. The information, agriculture, industry, and service sector. There is no longer any confla tion of the information and service sectors. Both are distinct, and the former has outstripped the latter. Porat figures out, that this information sector in 1967 accounted for nearly 50 percent of US GNP and more 3.2.3. The Information Economy 27 than 50 percent of wages and salaries, and affirms that it is in that sense that they have become an information economy (cf. Bell 1980: 521; Duff 1998: 382f.;Porat 1977). All in all Machlup and Porat assumed that employment was in the pro cess of epoch-making redeployment and that shortly most of the em ployees will act as information workers. This process has been identified worldwide. Led by the US, other highly developed states followed. The figures presented in this context were based on the assumption that more and more occupational activities will focus on information and the pro cessing of knowledge. For example, it has been claimed that in the US in 1967, more than half of the workforce worked in the information sector (cf. Klemsteuber 1999: 21f.;Porat 1977). This change in the economy is also essential to Bell. The prima ry source for Bell’s mentioned theory of post-industrialism is a short chapter of „The Coming of Post-Industrial Society“ entitled „From goods to services: the changing shape of the economy“. Bell declares that it is clear if an industrial society is defined as a goods-producing so ciety - if the manufacturer is central in shaping the character of its labor force - then the United States at this time is no longer an industrial socie ty. His evidence for this strong verdict was based on a significant growth of the service sector and a more or less contemporaneous decline of the manufacturing sector. Whereas employment in the goods-producing sec tor increased from 10.63 million in 1870 to 25.6 million in 1940, and was projected to reach 31.6 million in 1980, service employment in the USA went up much more rapidly over the same period, from 2.99 mil lion in 1870 to 24.25 million in 1940 and 67.98 million (projected) in 1980. Bell also provides percentage figures, and these indicated that the goods-producing proportion of the US workforce dropped from 51% in 1947 to 31.7% in 1980, while the service sector increased from 49% to 68.4% (cf. Duff 1998: 376f.; Bell 1973: 133). The main characteristic of this new information economy is that people and their jobs are best understood as service related, as the provi sion of information, the deployment of knowledge. After Porat most of these people new work is related to the term information labor, which bases on information activities (cf. May 2000: 5ff). This development and the associated characteristics of the economy form the basis of the concept Information Economy within this chapter. Based on the previously outlined concept, the industry can be divided after Machlup into five sub-divisions: Education, research and develop 28 ment, the media of communication, information machines and infor mation services. From today's perspective, these areas have also under gone further development in the past. However, it is believed that these five differentiated areas are still useful for macro-level categorization of an industry for today's analysis purposes. 3.3. Information Society and Al The question this chapter raises is how AI generally fits into the devel oped framework of the information society and its economic dimension? Where are the theoretical starting points and what possible changes are most relevant in the face of the previous chapters? Emerging technologies and opportunities in artificial intelligence are based on the Rise of ICT, as illustrated in the last chapter as one basic characteristic of a modem information society. As an ongoing and longer-term trend, AI seems to be a product of the information society itself based on the technological development. More and more information is generated which in turn is evaluated and trans formed through AI, creating ways to turn information into productive use. AI could further help to assist humans in dealing with ever increas ing complexities of tasks, processes and value chains. In terms of a ma chine-human interaction, the individuals would only need to understand certain aspects and limited information in the process, other aspects would be handled by machines. As a consequence, AI might relieve the problem of persons being overburdened by huge quantities and complex information. Further, the rise of new opportunities might be accelerated, often labeled as the “exponential character” of new technologies (cf. Domer 2017). Enhanced quantitative digital infrastructure combined with qualitative technical innovation are decisive for this process. There is a consensus in the literature that AI will continuously impact all our ways to live and work. The question is, how vast and deep will the impact be. As illustrated in chapter 3.2.2, the knowledge worker will be strongly affected. Assuming that the category of „knowledge worker“ will remain a valid one, it must be assumed that the typical job and task profile for knowledge workers will change throughout the process of digitalization and the more under AI. Knowledge workers will work in the so-called information sector. As a logical consequence, they might become the prime and key resource handling the raw material information. With the help of Artificial intelligence, humans could make more efficient deci 29 sions sector specific outputs could be increased. However, in order to achieve this, each algorithm required to handle data and information needs to be tailored carefully to existing data, and the objectives pur sued. This requires considerable human expertise for the knowledge or information worker in machine learning and large datasets to train algo rithms. Obviously, the demands of the knowledge worker will rise, and education and learning must be increased and shifted to meet these de mands. The current developments in AI seem able to produce two options. First, an increased human-machine interaction increased the productivity of the information worker. The limited human ability to pay attention to, handle and process data and perform tasks related here is augmented. If AI overcomes human limitations and boundaries, more information can be processed and used to make better-informed decisions, faster and more efficiently. The productivity of the information worker rises. Another possibility is that exponential technology like AI replaces even the most highly qualified knowledge worker. Thus, the information society itself could replace humans in workplaces. It is maybe be as sumed, and this would have to be verified by evidence in the future, that AI alone in some segments or even across economic segments produces better work results than even the most skilled knowledge workers can achieve. As a consequence, the conflict between labor and machine generated output are augmented. Likely, jobs requiring the least skill and knowledge sets are hit first. It is not a new phenomenon that the infor mation society poses the question of a deep conflict between highly qualified knowledge workers on the one hand and marginalized service sector employees on the other side, as Drucker argues (cf. Steinbicker 2011: 9f.). Almost ironically, this conflict could cease under the follow ing scenario: Imagine - theoretically - not a single human would be able to compete with AI, each task and job would be better handled by AI. If so, all humans would be equally affected, the conflict between high and low skilled workers would disappear. From today's perspective, a more likely scenario would be that the conflict will materialize between strong AI and knowledge workers for the job, the low skilled workforce seg ment would be out of the equation of job finding, already replaced by AI. In other words, instead of „transformation“, i.e. a switch from resources from one sector to the other, a situation like this would lead to idle hu man resources, further caused by a huge skill gap. And this on a massive scale. An imaginable scenario like this caused by strong AI will strongly 30 influence the so-called information society if human labor would in creasingly disappear. Besides of AI also concurrent advances in the internet of things, big data analytics, cloud computing is coming up and will enable tre mendous innovations in the information society (cf. International Tele communication Union 2017). They all together could lead more likely to transforming of business, government, and society fundamentally. 18th Century 19th - 20th Century Late 20th Century Early 21st Century "Artificial Intelligence Information Society"? Figure V: Artificial Intelligence Information Society. Source: Own graphic. The illustration reflects an Artificial Intelligence Information Society, a future envisioned by the risks and opportunities brought about by AI and the infiltration of automated machines and computers at all levels of the economy (cf. Lee 2016). As already indicated, in addition to the many positive aspects, these out lined developments also raise a number of critical questions that cannot be illustrated in this chapter. However, to prevent, in particular, the part of the potentially massive adverse effects, it is necessary to shape the future technical possibilities of ICT and their applications by using crite ria of so-called social compatibility. In this context, the question arises 31 how much adverse technological side effects does an information society tolerate and when will it be threatening for a nation on a massive scale? Moreover, how precisely should technical alternatives be weighed to prevent society from being hurt too much? (cf. Roflnagel et al. 1990: 6). Many ethical issues open up in this context, even they can not further be elaborated in this chapter. Nonetheless, the need to address fundamental issues with technol ogy assessment within the information society is essential to control technological development. In the latter part of the research, reference should be made to this again. It seems worthwhile to study the change and future of work within the socio-economic impact of AI. The future of the information economy, the consequences for the information socie ty and the action requirements on a political macro level have to be fur ther investigated. 3.4. Hypotheses Based on the argument put forward so far, it can be concluded that “Rise of ICT” made AI as a technology possible, this technological develop ment gave birth to AI. Thus we said AI is a product of the information society. And first signs of changing employment patterns driven by AIdriven automatization can be witnessed. From here it is safe to assume that strong AI will have even stronger effects on the information society and on job structures. Using Machlup’s economic segments as study ob jects, we shall seek to conduct a deeper impact analysis in chapter five. The analysis will be conducted against the background of two hypothe ses: (a) The occupational structures resulting from todays information societies will be affected by massive labor market changes due to strong AI. As a consequence, AI has the potential to disrupt the main subdivisions of the information economy. (b) The beginning of strong AI seems to be the key for the infor mation society to work more efficiently with the upcoming al most unmeasurable amounts of data and their complexity. AI can perform better than every single knowledge worker could do. As a consequence, the disruptive impact of strong AI will 32

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Abstract

The ongoing and seemingly unstoppable digital transformation brings forth new options, opportunities but also challenges to individuals, organizations, companies and societies alike. Governments are alarmed, realizing the potential consequences on the workforce, while also being apparently helpless against uncontrollable and powerful digital players such as Google or Facebook. As Henry Wittke shows, recent breakthroughs in the field of machine learning increase the potential of Artificial Intelligence to disrupt the world’s largest industries. Wittke attempts to provide a basic framework of what constitutes AI as well as to assess its impact on the Information Economy. What happens in case of rising mass unemployment or social inequality? What will be the effect on labor as a value system for today’s societies? Could the entire notion of capitalism be questioned in the wake of AI? The book aims to draw conclusions and give recommendations to policymakers.