Delve: Are Digital Tech Workers Coding Themselves Out of Existence? with Emmanuelle Vaast and Alain Pinsonneault

Published: 3 July 2023

What if just doing your job causes you to lose your job? New technologies have constantly replaced old technologies for hundreds of years, but new digital technologies, namely artificial intelligence and other data-driven technologies, are doing more than replacing old tech—they’re replacing the people who create those technologies in the first place.

On the Delve podcast, Alain Pinsonneault, Desautels Professor of Information Systems and IMASCO Chair in Information Technology, and fellow Desautels Professor of Information Systems Emmanuelle Vaast examine how digital technology enables and threatens occupational identity—and how data scientists and others who work with digital tech cope with the associated tensions.

“Information technology is affecting several dimensions of work: it's creating new jobs, it's eliminating jobs, it's profoundly changing existing jobs,” says Pinsonneault.

“Many occupations are very affected by digital technologies today,” explains Vaast. “What we can see for data scientists is going to be seen for many other occupations: these dynamics of identities; the need to constantly redefine what we do; how different are we from other occupations; are we making ourselves obsolete? It's not a question of if it's going to happen, but when it's going to happen, and how it will happen.”

Delve - Thought leadership from McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management

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Founded in 2019, Delve is the official thought leadership publication of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. Under the direction of Professor Saku Mantere, inaugural Editor-in-Chief, Delve features the latest in management thinking that stretches perspectives, sparks new ideas, and brings clarity to decision-makers at all levels and across sectors.

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