Study assesses psychological impact of job losses through technology
Generally speaking, most people find the idea of workers being replaced by robots or software worse than if the jobs are taken over by other workers. But when their own jobs are at stake, people would rather prefer to be replaced by robots than by another employee. That is the conclusion of a study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Over the coming decades, millions of jobs will be threatened by robotics and artificial intelligence. Despite intensive academic debate on these developments, there has been little study on how workers react to being replaced through technology.To find out, business researchers at TUM and Erasmus University Rotterdam conducted 11 scenarios studies and surveys with over 2,000 persons from several countries in Europe and North America. Their findings have now been published in the renowned journal Nature Human Behaviour.
Human replacements pose greater threat to feeling of self-worth
The study shows: In principle, most people view it more favorably when workers are replaced by other people than by robots or intelligent software. This preference reverses, however, when it refers to people’s own jobs. When that is the case, the majority of workers find it less upsetting to see their own jobs go to robots than to other employees. In the long term, however, the same people see machines as more threatening to their future role in the workforce. These effects can also be observed among people who have recently become unemployed.
The researchers were able to identify the causes behind these seemingly paradoxical results, too: People tend to compare themselves less with machines than with other people. Consequently, being replaced by a robot or a software poses less of a threat to their feeling of self-worth. This reduced self-threat could even be observed when participants assumed that they were being replaced by other employees who relied on technological abilities such as artificial intelligence in their work.
Weaker organized resistance?
“Even when unemployment results from the introduction of new technologies, people still judge it in a social context,” says Christoph Fuchs, a professor of the TUM School of Management, one of the authors of the study. “It is important to understand these psychological effects when trying to manage the massive changes in the working world to minimize disruptions in society.”
For example, the insights could help to design better programs for the unemployed. “For people who have lost their job to a robot, boosting their self-esteem will be less of a priority,” says Fuchs. “In that case it is more important to teach them new skills that will reduce their concerns about losing out to robots in the long term.”
The study could also serve as a starting point for further research on other economic topics, says Fuchs: “It is conceivable that employee representatives’ responses to job losses attributed to automation will tend to be weaker than when other causes are involved, for example outsourcing.”
The Latest on: Robots replacing humans
via Google News
The Latest on: Robots replacing humans
- Robots are coming for some of our jobs. Is Florida ready?on August 16, 2019 at 4:24 am
At the safer end of the spectrum are jobs that require human interaction, critical thinking, creativity and empathy, particularly ones that take place in unpredictable environments. It’s unlikely that ...
- Postmates cleared for robot deliveries in SF — Marble wants in, tooon August 15, 2019 at 4:42 pm
Delivery robots will soon be back in San Francisco ... a fictitious creature from the “Despicable Me” children’s movie franchise — will soon replace large numbers of human couriers.
- Today's Pickup: Workers Are More Concerned Of People Replacing Them Than Robotson August 15, 2019 at 9:21 am
The study explains that it is possible to see sense in such a conflicting perspective by understanding the tendency of people to relate more with a fellow human than with a robot. The report pointed ...
- Robots replace humans at world's first AI cafe in Dubaion August 14, 2019 at 3:38 am
The world’s first artificial intelligence-themed café is set to open this month in Dubai. It may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but RoboCafe, in Dubai Festival City, is almost ...
- Workers are more upset by the possibility of people replacing them than robots, study sayson August 13, 2019 at 7:59 am
and Erasmus University in Rotterdam found that people generally favor people replacing others on the job over robots, except when it comes to their own jobs. Respondents would rather be replaced by ...
- People don’t want to see workers replaced by a robot—themselves exceptedon August 7, 2019 at 7:45 am
While the universal income discussion may be new, anxieties about machinery and automation replacing human ... showed that they tend to view robots as displacing human employment.
- Stop & Shop's spill-detector robots - dubbed Marty - debut at LI storeson August 6, 2019 at 3:00 am
The robots have raised eyebrows in stores and spurred debate on social media about whether the technology is replacing human employees or spying on shoppers. Stop & Shop said that the robots are not ...
- Looking To Replace Manual Work With Robots, CynLr Raises Seed Fundingon August 6, 2019 at 2:50 am
They believe that with CynLr customers would have access to robots that can reliably replace human beings in handling objects. Rajiv Raghunandan, managing partner, Arali Ventures said ...
- It’s Not About the Robotson August 5, 2019 at 1:53 pm
Robot Driver,” Duncan imagines just how grisly things could get in the future if robots were to replace human drivers. “Former truckers replaced by driverless rigs,” writes Duncan, “gathered on the ...
- Most people would rather lose their job to a robot than another humanon August 5, 2019 at 8:44 am
In a follow up, Granulo and his team asked 251 people to indicate the intensity of their negative emotions such as sadness, anger or frustration when considering new employees being replaced by humans ...
via Bing News