Skip to content


Making sense of our connected world


Making sense of our connected world

169 HD – Knowledge work

Myth: AI is disrupting knowledge work

10 June 2021| doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4905667

Recently, applications based on machine learning have made enormous progress and can now take over tasks such as translations, document search or image recognition. Now, many fear that knowledge work will fundamentally change and eventually many knowledge workers will lose their jobs.


AI is disrupting knowledge work.

Indeed, companies are using AI applications to automate or augment very specific parts of knowledge work. However, new tasks are created in the process and the tasks that can be automated are usually very modular and delimited. Knowledge work relates to tasks in which knowledge, rather than services or physical goods, must be developed and deployed at the core.

Watch the talk


Folien der Präsentation

Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (2020). KI und Wissensarbeit – Implikationen, Möglichkeiten und Herausforderungen. Eu2020. 

Malone, T., Rus, D. & Laubacher, R. (2020). Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work, Research Brief 17.

Send, H. & Friesike, S. (2020). Job-Killer KI? Wie uns Untergangs-Szenarien von den wirklich wichtigen Fragen ablenken. Focus.


Harari, Y. N. (2017). Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow. HarperCollins Publisher 

Agrawal, A., Gans, J. & Goldfarb, A. (2018). Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence. Harvard Business Review Press. 

Netflix (2017, 29. Dezember). Black mirror Season 4, Episode 5 Metalhead  

Anita Schjøll Brede

About the author

Hendrik Send

Prof. Dr. Hendrik Send

Project lead at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and Professor for Business Administration at HTW Berlin

Hendrik Send is project leader in the research area “Internet-enabled Innovation” at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. Also, he is professor for Business Administration at HTW Berlin. Prior to this he studied physics, he holds a diploma in Electronic Business at the UdK Berlin and did his PhD at the Universität St. Gallen about Innovation-Communities and idea generation.


Why, AI?

This post is part of our project “Why, AI?”. It is a learning space which helps you to find out more about the myths and truths surrounding automation, algorithms, society and ourselves. It is continuously being filled with new contributions.

Explore all myths

This post represents the view of the author and does not necessarily represent the view of the institute itself. For more information about the topics of these articles and associated research projects, please contact

Hendrik Send, Prof. Dr.

Associated Researcher: Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Society

Sign up for HIIG's Monthly Digest

and receive our latest blog articles.

Our Journals

Further articles

SMEs and AI-Startups: How to keep track

HIIG has been supporting the Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Centre Berlin in the _Gemeinsam digital project as a consortium partner since 2016. We report from the AI company delegations: Which AI…

Myth: AI understands me, but I can’t understand it

Everyone can and should understand how AI works, so that—rather than be intimidated or misled by algorithmic decision-making—we can contribute multiple perspectives to designing and implementing the systems that impact...

When your next sex date is only zero feet away. Geolocal technology and gay male online dating with the app Grindr in Berlin (Part 1)

How does the search for non-committal sex inscribe itself into daily routines that homosexual men use to shape their lives in Berlin? For the Digital Society Blog, the author presents...