numérique angle mort des retraites

Digital transformation the blind spot in the pension discussion?

A hot topic in the French news, the pension reform and the increase of the retirement age to 64 years mobilizes all opponents of the projects. I will not discuss the merits of this reform, nor its technical aspects or its adjustments.
But I am convinced that this reflection on the theme of pensions should be integrated into a more global approach to work and our relationship to work, especially since we are in the midst of an industrial revolution, a state of affairs that changes many parameters and should make us wonder…
I will try here to propose some lines of thought, it is not a question of asserting any intangible truth but of opening up fields of questions in order to mature a global reflection taking into account the increasing complexity of the professional environment…

Artificial Intelligence

This sector is transversal and plays an important role in many technological sectors, as we will see in the next sections…

What is artificial intelligence (AI)?
Contrary to what many people fantasize, to date there is no Artificial Intelligence with its own consciousness. It is not for lack of investment in research in this field and maybe one day, closer than we think, we will see this type of Artificial Intelligence.
At the moment, AI is the set of technologies based on Machine Learning and Deep Learning algorithms, which allow to process information on patterns related to their learning based on large volumes of data (Big Data).
The most mediatized example of this ongoing revolution is Chatgpt from Open AI, which in its professional version (paying) allows to write poems, to write programs, to support a law exam, etc.

Microsoft is not mistaken, and has invested heavily in OpenAI, convinced that it will allow it to regain leadership over Google, the future will confirm it… If I do not share this blissful enthusiasm (my article) at this stage, we must not neglect the fact that this is a first step and that many upheavals are expected. And in the questioning that concerns us, we can only note that tertiary jobs, including high added value jobs (engineers, developers, etc.) could also be affected by this automation. The question that ultimately arises, what impact on the employment of these categories, and what will be the level of minimum qualification expected …


For years, industry has been equipping itself with industrial robots, thus drastically changing the nature of industrial production by automating more and more low value-added, repetitive and physically demanding tasks. By nature, these changes lead to a reduction in the need for low-skilled labor.
By combining the advances proposed in different fields of robotics with Artificial Intelligence, we can guess at possibilities that have not yet spread to the industrial field. Just look at the demos of Boston Dynamics on its dog or humanoid robots…

What seemed like Science-Fiction 10-15 years ago is now possible, at least at the prototype and experimental level, and we can easily guess that it could become our daily professional life, even if the costs have to be drastically reduced for that…
There are other fields where automation with the help of Artificial Intelligence could completely change our approach to the needs of certain professions, such as Taxi, VTC or even airline pilots… The day when autonomous vehicles are reliable and the legal issues surrounding their use are resolved, entire sectors of our economy will be impacted…

The digitization of everyday life

What do I mean by the digitalization of everyday life? It is the digitization, virtualization and automation of many public services or customer services. The fact that you have to file your taxes online, make a medical appointment online, consult and manage your accounts online, buy online, etc.
All this leads to significant changes in the organization of these different sectors of activity, often with fewer jobs as a result…
Moreover, this digitization of services leads to a digital divide, which is reflected in several ways, not all the population is equal in the use and acculturation to new technologies. Moreover, this sector of new technologies is evolving rapidly and maintaining skills is sometimes complicated. Moreover the digital divide is also translated in geographical terms, the national territory is not equally served even if the great plan of the cable makes France a rather privileged country…

That’s all well and good, but what about pensions?

Precisely, when we see all the real and current impacts of these technological evolutions on the world of work and our relationship with work, and when we guess the next upheavals, the following question arises: is the problem of pensions well posed?
What will the job market be like, even if only in 10 years’ time, given the technological developments underway or in preparation?
How will work be organized in the face of this increase in automation of tasks, whether manual or intellectual?
How can we ensure that the skills needed in this technological world are maintained in order to reach the pivotal age of 64?
How will work itself be conceptualized in 10-20 years, if we continue this dizzying increase in automation and virtualization of all jobs?
An even more dizzying question is what will be the place of man and of the inter-human relationship in a completely technologized world? Will we have to accept to transform ourselves, to leave our human nature, to become more than human as advocated by the supporters of transhumanism like Dr. Laurent Alexandre (Homo Deus) ? And what will be done with those who cannot adapt?


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