The Economic and Social Council (ESC) adopted an opinion on the topic “The role of artificial intelligence in the management of human capital and working conditions of those working through digital platforms in Bulgaria” at its plenary session on Friday, the ESC said.
The opinion was developed at the initiative of the ESC and aims to support the digital transformation in Bulgaria.
The document states that digitization should be a means of achieving a more competitive economy that should not lead to a deepening of social inequalities and should not harm individual economic entities while helping others.
The ESC deems it essential that the management of the digital transformation in Bulgaria is carried out in coordination with legislative, executive and judicial authorities with the cooperation and active participation of employers, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and individual citizens.
According to the Council, digital platforms play an important role in the economy because they create innovation, provide jobs and help meet consumer demand.The ESC recommends that an interdepartmental working group be created with the participation of social partners in order to properly regulate the labour status of those working through digital platforms.
At the same time, the Council’s experts believe that artificial intelligence (AI) should complement human judgment and experience, not replace it. Members stress that with the introduction of AI, many people will be out of work through no fault of their own. Therefore, the problems of financing social protection, the retraining of these people and the danger of technological unemployment come to the fore.
Statistics show that digital work platforms are increasingly used in the European economy. According to the European Commission, there are over 500 digital job platforms operating in the EU, including international companies, national or local start-ups. Revenues from the platform-based economy in the EU are estimated at EUR 20 billion, and currently more than 28 million people in the EU work through digital job platforms. It is expected that in 2025 their number will reach 43 million people.
Some 53% of employers in Bulgaria are looking for labour with an advanced level of basic digital competencies, and 14% require a highly specialized level, 31% would accept workers with an average level of basic digital competencies, and only 2% will hire people with a basic digital competency . In terms of specific digital competencies, 59% of employers require an advanced level, 16% require a highly specialized level, 20% require an intermediate level, and 5% require a basic level.
In other words, nearly 70% of the proficiency levels required are for “advanced” and “highly specialized” level of digital competence. This is an indicator of the changing nature of work, the changing specificity of the tasks performed at the workplace and the dynamically growing requirements for digital skills in the context of the transition to digitalized workplaces.
At the plenary session, the Economic and Social Council also adopted an analysis of the main macroeconomic and fiscal parameters in Bulgaria for the 2015-2022 period : Medium-term Budget forecast and GDP structure.
Desislava Stoyanova, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy and Alejandro Polanco Mata, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain in Sofia, who presented the priorities of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU, participated as guests at the Council meeting, the announcement states.