The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Sunday, 25 August

I'd Rather Be Replaced By A Robot Than A Human Being

Robots replacing people

While people generally prefer to see jobs go to people rather than to robots, this preference reverses when they consider their own jobs.

In that case, they prefer to be replaced by robots, new research from Stefano Puntoni, Professor of Marketing at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) has revealed.

In an article published in Nature Human Behaviour, co-authored by Armin Granulo and former RSM faculty Christoph Fuchs, findings show that people experience more negative feelings when they are replaced by another person than when they are replaced by a robot. This creates a psychological incentive for people to prefer being replaced by robots.

However, while comparing one’s abilities to a robot may be less of a concern to people’s self-worth in the short-run, robotic replacement is perceived as more threatening to people’s economic situation in the long-term.

 

Skill obsolescence

“As more and more occupations are affected by automation, this is an increasingly important topic. Interestingly, when technology replaces human workers, it has a unique psychological effect. People realise that the differences in abilities between robots and themselves might not be short-lived but permanent, indicating skill obsolescence,” says Professor Puntoni.

“We hope that, particularly in times when policymakers are discussing strategies intended to support workers who have been displaced by technology, our work encourages more research on the psychological consequences of technological unemployment before technological progress disrupts specific jobs and occupations,” the professor continued.

 

Skills and retraining

The researchers indicate that their findings can help develop programmes to cope with negative consequences of workers being replaced by intelligent machines. Such programmes can help to re-employ job seekers and reduce negative effects on mental and physical health.

For instance, the research shows that those workers who attribute their job loss to automation would benefit from resources wholly dedicated to interventions targeted at upgrading skills and retraining.

"As technological progress is expected to affect millions of workers in a wide variety of occupations in the coming decades, it is important for the stability of society that we understand potential threats to the psychological wellbeing of affected workers, and how this transition will affect their long-term economic prospects," Professor Puntoni concluded.

Picture: People want jobs to go to people - until it is their job, when they would prefer to be made redundant by a robot.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

Share



Related Articles

Here Comes Your 19th Nervous Breakdown

How integrated are your facilities management and wellness programmes? asks Marcus Hill in a world where mental health in the workplace is a huge issue and the UK sits...

 Read Full Article
Construction Employers And Staff Mental Health

Safety is one of the biggest concerns in the construction and allied industries, writes Daniel Ure. And since one of the biggest risks to workers is posed by mental...

 Read Full Article
Bolting In Bots On The Road To Smart FM

A combination of robotic and internet technology is transforming the efficiency and effectiveness of contract cleaning, writes Christian Berenger, who believes we are...

 Read Full Article
Ocado Deliver Update On Robo-Warehouse Inferno

Ocado's massive robot controlled warehouse in Hampshire was destroyed by fire on Tuesday (Feb 5). The company has now delivered an update to ThisWeekinFM -...

 Read Full Article
Harnessing The Power Of AI - New Book Launched

A much needed guide to AI is how RICS have described a new book by Katie King which focuses on AI in marketing but references facilities management - an area the author...

 Read Full Article
How FMs Can Harness The Power Of AI

Katie King, whose new book, Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing, has just been published, has written exclusively for ThisWeekinFM on the impact AI is having in...

 Read Full Article
Raising The Standard Of Workplace Health

The British Standards Institute has issued a code of practice for employers to improve health & wellbeing for staff - with particular regards to mental...

 Read Full Article
Get The Inside Out

A mental health awareness campaign has returned to our TV screens; one organisation is saying wellbeing - and particularly air quality - is the new bottom line; another...

 Read Full Article
Mental Health Awareness Week - Vegetarian Week

Mental Health Awareness Week runs 14-20 May - the same dates as Vegetarian Week.   Mental Health Awareness Week Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, this...

 Read Full Article
Thriving At Work - A Report Into Workplace Mental Health

The Stevenson-Farmer independent review into workplace mental health has been published and supported by research by Deloitte. The independent review was commissioned...

 Read Full Article