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Rethinking country effects: robotics, AI and work futures in Norway and the UK

Current debates around robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are dominated by concerns over the threat to employment, amid widely varying estimates of potential job losses. Countries are expected to fare differently, but there is little comparative research that goes beyond analysing industry and occupational structures. This article rethinks ‘country effects’ by exploring the role of institutions and social actors in shaping technological change in Norway and the UK. Drawing upon interviews with technology experts, employer associations and trade unions, it examines their perspectives on public policy support for the development and diffusion of robotics and AI, along with potential consequences for employment, work and skills. The research indicates significant country differences and the continued relevance of institutions, interests and power in analysing country effects.

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