Artificial Intelligence: The Third Element of the Labour Relations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A new organisational model is being applied to work, overtaking the classic (and usually divisive) categories through which the phenomenon is analysed according to the Fordist theory (by way of example, organisation – subordination – powers – rights – obligations). Work entails important theoretical questions if it is linked to the most advanced technology (in Europe, in particular, Industry 4.0 and Gig Economy). If work has already been considered ‘incomplete’ (non-hyphenated word) because a feature of the employment contract under a market economy is its incompleteness, given that work-effort bargain and labour capacity cannot easily be specified ex ante, it should be expected to be all the more ‘in-complete’ in the future due to the peculiar legal relationship that will come to life among (i) the worker, (ii) the employer, and (iii) the machine endowed with artificial intelligence (intelligent machine). The hyphen between ‘in’ and ‘complete’ bears witness to such legal relationship. The intelligent machine can be considered as a third subject, as it is a ‘third element’ that takes part in the legal matters of the contractual pattern involving the employer and the worker. Therefore, beyond traditional scenarios in labour law, there are wider prospects. These prospects concern the impact of the intelligent machine on work organisation in the factory of the future. This is probably one of the reasons why labour regulation is changing and will change further.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Work. Labour Law and Labour Market Regulation in the Digital Era
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Artificial Intelligence


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