Skip to main content

A-I, Yi, Yi: We Think Robots Will Take Somebody Else's Job, Not Ours



How do you feel about artificial intelligence in the workplace? Is it a good thing, or a bad thing?

A new survey reveals a high level of human anxiety around automation and the rise of AI. But the survey reveals another tidbit that's even more interesting: we think robots will take somebody else's job, not ours!

You Can't Take That (Job) Away From Me
The American Staffing Association/Harris Poll Workforce Monitor survey finds slightly more than one-third (34%) of Americans think automation at work will be a positive development for the workplace over the next decade, while 31% who say it will be negative development. The rest (35%) don't have an opinion either way, or don't know.

Survey participants, however, tend to agree robots will have a substantial impact on hiring. More than three-fourths surveyed (79%) think automation will fundamentally change the quantity of available jobs, while more than two-thirds (68%) think robots will change the types of American jobs for which they can apply.

Verging on three-fourths (72%) think more robots at work will lead to higher unemployment. Check it out in chart form.


Now for the most interesting statistic: Nearly three-fourths (73%) surveyed seem to think their job is coated in robot-repellent teflon! They think robots or artificial intelligence could never, ever replace them on the job. In fact, the vast majority (85%) believe humans have a certain workplace je ne sais quoi that no amount of mechanization could ever replicate, and (90%) say that there are simply some tasks that automation will never be able to take away from humans.

Now let's look at television, where robot creep is happening between breaking news updates. Here is IBM's Watson diagnosing patients.


And running the numbers.


It's not only whip-smart Watson; Betty the Robotic Office Manager is doing some management by rolling around, too. A February 2017 Talent Trends Report from talent solutions company Randstad Sourceright, meanwhile, found one-quarter of businesses had increased automation and robotics in the past 12 months.

Today, at this very moment, people are worried Whole Foods employees will be replaced by robots.

The British Standards Institution issued an official ethics guidance last year regarding human-robot interaction in the workplace, since it's apparently nigh time for one.

Are we being too naive in thinking our own job is irreplaceable? With any luck, we will be able to find the right balance between automation and the human workforce. The intersection between the human workforce and AI is THE most pressing workforce issue of the 21st Century, and we need to come up with a workable plan for incorporating both sides seamlessly. Maybe Watson could work on it over the weekend?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…