A recent study conducted by Oracle and research firm Future Workplace found that 64% of people would trust a robot more than their manager. The study included 8,370 employees, managers and HR leaders across 10 countries. Its aim was to see how AI has changed relationships between people and technology at work.
It did have some surprising results when comparing human supervisors to potential robot overlords. According to the study, 64 % of people would trust a robot over their manager. Half would rather turn to artificial intelligence over their manager when going for advice.
Even more disheartening is that 82% of people think robots can do things better than their managers. When asked what those things are, some common answers included providing unbiased information (26%), maintaining work schedules (34%), problem-solving (29%) and managing a budget (26%).
Human Managers Perceived Better at Personal Connections
It wasn’t all bad. According to the survey, respondents felt humans were better at more personal connections such as understanding their feelings (45%), coaching them (33%) and creating a work culture (29%).
Men (56%) seem to prefer AI over human managers a bit more than women do (44%). Citizens of some countries trust AI more than others with workers with India (89%) and China (88%) being the most trusting. Following closely behind are Singapore (83%), Brazil (78%), Japan (76%), and the UAE (74%). Nations Australia (58%), New Zealand (58%), U.S. (57%), UK (54%) and France (56%) were a little bit more split between humans and AI.
Oracle Study Shows AI Becoming More Common in Workplace
According to the survey, AI, in general, is becoming more common in the workplace with 50% of workers currently using some form of AI compared to only 32% last year. Workers in China (77%) and India (78%) have adopted AI over 2X more than those in France (32%) and Japan (29%).
Most workers view working with AI pretty favorably with 65% of workers being optimistic, excited and grateful about having robot co-workers. There are some challenges with the new technology as 76% of workers (and 81% of HR leaders) find it difficult to keep up with the pace of changes in the workplace.
The main concerns seem to be security (31%) and privacy (30%) which may make some workers cautious about using AI at work. Gen Z (43%) and Millennials (45%) are more concerned about privacy and security at work than Gen X (29%) and Baby Boomers (23%).
“The 2019 study shows that AI is redefining not only the relationship between worker and manager, but also the role of a manager in an AI-driven workplace. Based on the findings, managers will remain relevant in the future if they focus on being human and using their soft skills, while leaving the technical skills and routine tasks to robots,” said Dan Schawbel, Research Director at Future Workplace.
You read find more about the study here.
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