In the world of public policy, this week was a week of “virtual firsts”
The first virtual vote
in Canadian history took place in the Parliament of Canada this week. Along with the introduction of new technical equipment, the government was successful in passing its first confidence vote since the updated speech from the throne last Wednesday.
Below the border, in the United States, the first entirely virtual presidential debate
Recent surveys on the Canadian and global workforces show the future of work as… blended
A PwC survey
from July shows that while 6% of respondents worked “primarily remotely” before the pandemic, almost 60% do now. Earlier this moth, the CRA released a set of draft changes
to the T4044 tax form to try and accommodate these trends.
Looking forward, employees’ ideal work scenarios are mixed: 37% hope to work either entirely or mostly at the workplace, 34% hope to work either entirely or mostly remotely, and 29% hope to work a 50-50 split.
Meanwhile, a McKinsey survey
, also from July, shows that 85% of companies surveyed have accelerated the digitization of their employee interactions and collaboration, while 67% have accelerated the adoption of automation and AI.
Some tech giants still buying office space amid the larger work from home trend
Amazon announced plans to create 3500 new corporate and tech-focused jobs in Vancouver and Toronto this week, where, according to Bloomberg
, software engineers are smart, and plentiful.
When asked why the company chose to create location-based jobs in an economy where many other tech companies are going digital by default, one of Amazon’s vice-presidents explained
that employees “really value being able to be together and interact in real time to solve interesting customer problems.”
New court decisions continue to provide interesting insights on the application of old laws to new tech
A recent decision
by the UK High Court has confirmed that in the UK, a machine learning system or algorithm is not a “natural person” and therefore cannot be regarded as the inventor of a patent under UK patent law. Similarly, two patent applications were refused
by the European Patent Office earlier this year on the basis that they “attempted to name a computer system as the sole inventor.”