On October 25-26, 2021, a two-day workshop was held online, within the project “The future is now”. The two days of the workshop were open by the project leader, and the lecture on the topics was conducted by the main expert of the project, prof. Dr. Lazar Jovevski.

The project beneficiary opened the workshop and welcomed all participants. After the introductory speech the main expert prof. Lazar Jovevski asked the participants to introduce themselves and briefly to present the conditions in their countries considering the artificial intelligence. The participants shared the experiences from their countries, regarding the existing problems in the sector and the impact that the pandemic had on them.

Everyone agreed that the process of digitalization is accelerated as the result of the pandemic and this is the decade of digitalization. In that context the main expert pointed that it is not a matter of time when the process of digitalization will start but rather with what intensity and speed the changes will be happening.

The main expert Lazar Jovevski discussed the emerging technology and the best ways on how to better understand the new forms of work. The process of digitalization is followed by another, wider process and that’s the process of robotization. This process firstly will affect in the health and safety at work, shortly catalyzing into every aspect and every sector. Unfortunately digitalization will have negative effect when it comes to workplaces, many jobs will be reduced as a direct consequence of digitalization.

After the short break there was a discussion about the EU directives and the non-regulatory framework considering the AI. The partners discussed the level of implementation of this regulatives in their national legislation and the overall aspect of the fast-changing forms of work and the need of appropriate legal framework.

On the second day, the expert Jovevski summarized the impressions from the previous day and started the workshop with asking the partners to give short summery on the conditions in their countries. They shared the additional challenges that were brought in the sector by the pandemic and how those challenges affected workers regarding the use of automatization and digitalization. Expressing that there were both positive and negative aspects of the digitalization.

Most of the partners agreed that there are difficulties when it comes to equal digitalization among countries but also among companies. Almost in every country the majority of economic activity comes from micro and small businesses which find difficult or even impossible to follow the trend of digitalization. It was stated that equality doesn’t mean anything if not all have the same start.

The main expert asked the participants what are the best practices in the metal sector in their country regarding the implementation on artificial intelligence in the work process. The participants issued the problem with inadequate implementation of the EU legal framework.
Also there were pointed the positive aspects from the new forms of work, the changing processes of production but also the benefits that come in the public sector by implementing tools like e-government etc. The additional help that some governments give to the companies in order go digitalize their work is a really good practice and many countries should follow that example.

After the successful discussion the workshop was closed by the expert Lazar Jovevski, who summarized everything that was discussed during the two days of the workshop and sent his best regards to all partners until the next meeting.