Working in highly automated digital-hybrid processes

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The project is part of the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society. The research is centrally concerned with current processes of change in the world of work, which have been described as a new industrial revolution. This revolution in the working world due to automation entails great potential but also great danger. The potential arises from the reduced workloads and increased efficiency of human work, which is also important due to demographic change. New ideas for cooperation between human beings and machines also offer the opportunity to expand the scope of tasks and individual employees’ scope of action, which would, in turn, lead to increasing skill levels. The dangers arise from skill-biased technological change, i.e., from job losses in routine service and industrial activities, from human operators’ reduced capacity to control highly automated systems, and from the new control and monitoring possibilities associated with extensive use of digital technologies within companies.

Against this backdrop, three questions will be addressed:

1. How are the organization of work, hierarchical structures, and performance regulation changing as a result of the use of new digital automation technologies?

2. How are skill requirements, learning opportunities, and learning forms changing as a result of the use of new digital automation technologies?

3. What effects will the use of new digital automation technologies have on employment?

For more information, please visit the Weizenbaum Institute's website:

01.09.2017 - 14.09.2022
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung