Wellbeing, Care and Robots

Prospects for good work in the health and social care sector

It has been posited that the health and social care sector may become a ‘sweet spot’ of good work, in that it will provide plentiful, good quality jobs that are associated with low environmental impacts. To explore this hypothesis, in this paper we address two questions: to what extent will jobs in the health and social care sector be displaced through technological advances such as in artificial intelligence (AI) and robots? And to what extent may the remaining jobs provide ‘good’ work? Our findings are mixed, with the general consensus being that rather than destroying jobs, technological advances will change the function and nature of jobs. The primary reason for this is the irreplaceability of genuine human interaction by machines. Therefore, as human interaction is likely to be an important component of future jobs, and it is also considered an important feature of ‘good’ jobs, it is likely that remaining jobs will be generally of good quality.

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