Artificial Intelligence at Work: An Overview of the Literature

83 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021

Date Written: March 3, 2021


This paper provides an overview of the actual and likely labour market transformations caused by increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies across the advanced economies, with a special focus on Germany. The scholarly debates on these issues mainly revolve around the impact of AI on the number and structure of jobs, and around AI-enabled management tools’ perpetuation and aggravation of work-related inequalities and discrimination. The study starts with a brief background of AI as a technology, with a focus on its definition, subfields, capabilities, and history. Following this, it reviews the discussions on the implications of AI use in the world of work and its ethical and political repercussions and continues with a summary of AI use and its impacts in German labour markets. It then discusses the current gaps in the relevant scholarly literature and identifies numerous opportunities for further research.
The investigation concludes by addressing two far-reaching implications of increasing utilisation of AI-enabled tools in labour markets. First, in the case that the current trends remain unchanged, the AI-driven future of work is likely to perpetuate and aggravate work-related inequalities and discrimination, diminishing further the prospects of decent work, fair remuneration and adequate social protection for all. Second, predictions provided by current studies only point out one possibility amongst many. Thus, we still have choices as to the advancement, adoption, and utilisation of workplace AI technologies in a way that brings benefit to all.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, labour markets, automation, employment relations, algorithmic management, Germany,

Suggested Citation

Özkiziltan, Didem and Hassel, Anke, Artificial Intelligence at Work: An Overview of the Literature (March 3, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Didem Özkiziltan (Contact Author)

Hertie School ( email )

Berlin, 30123

Anke Hassel

Hertie School of Governance ( email )

Friedrichstr. 180
Berlin, 10117
+49.30.259 219 310 (Phone)


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