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
- As Amazon Workers Organize, They Stress: ‘We Are Not Robots’on April 9, 2021 at 8:51 am
While the screamiest headlines of the past few years have warned of robots replacing workers whole cloth, the more common scenarios emerging involve a hybrid human-robot model. At Amazon’s re:Mars ...
- Manufacturers embrace robots, the perfect pandemic workeron April 8, 2021 at 10:22 am
Robots could replace as many as 2 million more workers in manufacturing ... implementing machines in factories has been compensated by the pandemic discouraging human work." “The high upfront cost for ...
- What could we cancel Sophia the robot for? Oh, where to begin ...on April 7, 2021 at 10:31 am
I tried it to find out Sophia the robot apparently has pop ... it will involve collaborations with human musicians. While I am sure that some may take issue with the idea of robotic pop stars swooping ...
- Puppets, robots and holography replace human acts as circus reinvents itself after Covid 19on April 4, 2021 at 10:23 pm
Photo / Dean Purcell A New Zealand circus is replacing human acts with robots, puppets and 5D holography as Covid-19 border closures means foreign clowns, acrobats and stunt artists are unable to come ...
- Robots threaten to replace hundreds of thousands of oil & gas jobs by 2030 – reporton April 3, 2021 at 6:47 am
Robots could steal the jobs of around one in five oil and gas workers worldwide in the next 10 years as more companies turn to automation to cut costs, new analysis from Rystad Energy shows.
- Businesses trust robots more than humans to manage moneyon April 3, 2021 at 2:52 am
The survey says 67 per cent of people trust robots more than humans to manage their corporate ... of business leaders believe robots will replace corporate finance professionals in the next ...
- Robot dog gets trained to follow the leaderon April 1, 2021 at 1:00 pm
Working with Trimble to boost the process of replacing remote-controlled robots traveling ... an intuitive user experience and opens the door to collaborative robots that can augment the human ...
- Robots may replace 20 percent of oilfield jobs in a decade, report sayson March 30, 2021 at 2:41 pm
At least two out of every 10 oil workers globally in drilling, operational support and maintenance could be replaced by automation in the field over the next decade, the energy data provider said ...
- This new Stretch robot is designed to replace humans — here’s howon March 30, 2021 at 3:08 am
Say hello to Stretch, the latest robot from Boston Dynamics, designed to help with the heavy lifting in warehouses. While the U.S. robotics company might be better known for making the Spot dog-like ...
- Robots could replace hundreds of thousands of oil and gas jobs by 2030on March 30, 2021 at 2:14 am
After losing thousands of jobs to the pandemic downturn, robotics and automation could slash hundreds of thousands more oil and gas jobs around the world and sharply reduce labor costs by 2030, ...
via Bing News