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AIAS conference generates Topical Journal Collection on Automated Labour

A cross-disciplinary meeting at AIAS between fellows Magdalena Małecka and Philipp Reick led to an interdisciplinary conference on Automated labour in June 2023. Now an upcoming Topical Journal Collection on Automated labour is open for submissions of articles.

@ 2010 Mary Ann Sullivan

A two-day conference on the topic of ‘Cyborg Workers: The Past, Present and Future of Automated Labour’ was organized by fellows Magdalena Małecka, a philosopher of economics and Philipp Reick, a social historian, and held at AIAS in June 2023. The outcome of the cross-disciplinary exchanges and conversations at the conference have now led to a topical collection in the scientific journal Digital Society on the topic of “Automated Labour: Past, Present and Future. Challenging Dominant Narratives.”

The journal collection is edited by AIAS fellow Magdalena Małecka and Philipp Reick, now an MSCA Fellow at Technische Universität Berlin, and it has as its overall aim to challenge dominant narratives of automated labour. The topical collection will focus on discourses, practices and responses to automation of work in a long-term and critical perspective.

The journal is now open for submissions until 31 January 2024.


Open for submission from: 1 November 2023
Submission deadline: 31 January 2024

More about the Automated Labour Topical Collection

The automation of work is receiving considerable attention in academia and among the wider public alike. From lecture halls to editorial offices and headquarters of tech companies in Silicon Valley, participants in the debate argue that thanks to unprecedented advances in digitalization and AI technology we are headed to a future in which less and less human labour is required to produce the goods and services that will sustain an increasingly workless society. This future is depicted either as a carefree utopia in which human creativity is finally liberated from the burden of wage labour or as a dystopian nightmare in which a growing number of workers compete for a constantly decreasing number of jobs. Either way, both interpretations conclude that work is going to be increasingly scarce. The claim is that in contrast to the past two centuries, during which machines have taken over some tasks but have also created new ones, in the future, automation will abolish many jobs without generating new employment opportunities for those whose jobs become redundant.

The topical collection aims to challenge some of the assumptions underlying this debate. Bringing together historians, philosophers, and scholars from the social sciences, the topical collection will explore the long and contested history of mechanized and automated labour, as well as its future prospects. 

Contact at AIAS

Magdalena Małecka, AIAS-COFUND MSCA Fellow

Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, AIAS
Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B
DK-8000 Aarhus C