Digital economy

Digital Economy and Social Security Observatory

The Digital Economy will profoundly transform our daily life, how we work and how we live.

The Observatory will provide ISSA members with an understanding of the opportunities and the challenges it will present to social security administrations.

It will look at this transformation from two angles: the changing environment in which social security institutions evolve and how Social Security institutions themselves will be impacted and can respond to these challenges.


Large scale automation

Large-scale automation of industrial production and services is based on applying a range of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, cognitive computing, big data, Blockchain, Internet of Things and robotics among others.

Although very diverse, the application of these technologies enables the automation - to varying extents – of a number of tasks usually done by people. Some examples are the usage of increasingly autonomous robots in industrial production lines, self-services managed by artificial intelligence systems, and autonomous vehicles. These all combine all the technologies mentioned.

While such large-scale automation will undoubtedly impact on employment, the implementation of such automated systems is highly complex and potentially costly Furthermore, these “intelligent” systems have to be “trained” to specific application scenarios - which adds complexity and costs. Their potential usage cannot cover a large spectrum of activities such as creative and analytical ones (e.g. determining if software systems are correct).

Social security administrations could anticipate local impacts, particularly unemployment scenarios, and promote reconversion through training. Also, the construction, installation and training of these systems constitute economic activities themselves which require business know-how.

Ten global challenges for social security

Media Monitor Media Monitor

2 November 2018 (05.10.2018) The World Bank has announced the launch of the Mission Billion annual innovation challenge to address the most critical issues in digital identification as it works toward achieving sustainable development goal 16.9 to establish legal identity for all.

2 November 2018

ILO (31.10.2018) The 11th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour held in Singapore on 29-30 October discussed how to maximize the potential of digitalization to promote decent work for migrant workers in the Asia Pacific region. Anna Engblom, senior expert on labour migration at the International Labour Organization (ILO), reviews the opportunities and challenges brought by digitalization in this area.

31 October 2018

Bloomberg (30.10.2018)  Just months after Uber Technologies Inc. persuaded a London judge to allow it to keep operating in the city, the ride-hailing company is back in court. At stake during two days of hearings at the Court of Appeal in London is an issue that could strike at the core of the U.K.’s burgeoning gig economy: whether Uber’s drivers are really self-employed

26 October 2018

McKinsey (25.10.2018) New technologies can give Switzerland’s economy a much-needed productivity boost, but bold digital transformation and skills development are imperative.  Digital technologies, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) could boost Swiss productivity by around one percentage point a year in the period to 2030. However, to capture that productivity bonus, Swiss companies need to undertake bold and comprehensive digital transformation, and work with governments to equip the workforce with the skills that will be in demand.

26 October 2018

vorwärts (11.10.2018) Im Bundesarbeitsministerium wird ab sofort in einer Denkfabrik Digitale Arbeitsgesellschaft zur Zukunft der Arbeit geforscht. Ziel: Kluge Vorschläge an die Politik.

25 October 2018

ILO  (22.10.2018) Workers will need a magic mix of skills to survive the technological revolution. T he World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2018  gives some cause for encouragement. The business perspective on how technology will affect growth and job creation is becoming more positive, the survey results show. As the International Labour Organization (ILO) approaches its 100th anniversary , we are also reflecting on these issues through the Future of Work Centenary Initiative . I would like to share some of our thoughts on policy and trends.

24 October 2018

Le Temps (24.10.2018) Dans un livre* à paraître la semaine prochaine, Daniel Walch et Xavier Comtesse entrevoient une baisse possible des coûts de la santé grâce à l’intelligence artificielle. Qui fera des assurés des patients «impatients et compétents»

19 October 2018

Social Europe (17.10.2018) Manual jobs in European manufacturing are being transformed as blue-collar workers take on more intellectual tasks. This is a consequence of the increasing use of digital tools and the growing importance of quality control in production.

18 October 2018

EurActiv (05.10.2018) Estonia and Finland will start exchanging digital prescriptions at the end of the year, in a groundbreaking move that Estonian Health Minister Riina Sikkut said she hoped other EU countries will follow. Speaking to on the sidelines of the ongoing European Health Forum in Gastein, Austria, Sikkut said that in Estonia, it is common practice for healthcare professionals to use the e-health system to exchange patient medical records.

15 October 2018

Free Malaysia Today (15.10.2018) Referring to the article in news portal Free Malaysia Today titled “Freelancers in ‘gig economy’ need EPF-like scheme too” published on Oct 14, there is definitely a need for freelancers or workers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to have Employees Provident Fund (EPF)-like schemes for old-age savings.

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