Much talk of workplace automation paints a picture of an apocalyptic stand-off between humans and their robot replacements.
But the ultimate relationship may be much more harmonious, according to a new report, which suggests that many employees are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace.
In fact, as many as 64% of workers say they would trust a robot over their manager, based on the joint study from U.S. technology company Oracle and research firm Future Workplace. Meanwhile, more than half say they have already turned to a robot for advice instead of their manager.
The phenomenon is especially pronounced in Asia, where employees expressed a disproportionate distrust in their human colleagues when compared to technology. For example, 89% of workers in India and 88% of those in China admitted to trusting robots over their managers.
The two gargantuan labour forces were joined by workers in Singapore (83%), Brazil (78%), Japan (76%), Australia and New Zealand (58%), the U.S. (57%), the U.K. (54%) and France (56%) in trusting robots over their managers.
A ‘warning sign’ for managers
The findings, which are based on responses from more than 8,300 workers across 10 countries, reflect a growing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace.
According to the research, 50% of workers currently use some form of AI at work, up from 32% last year. India and China lead that charge, thanks in part to their youthful populations and rapid rate of tech adoption.
However, they also highlight the need for managers to foster stronger relationships with their staff, Shaakun Khanna, Oracle’s head of human capital management applications for Asia-Pacific said.
“I think it’s a big warning sign for the managers,” said Khanna, noting that leaders and aspiring leaders must work to excel in areas where technology falls short.
“I always tell people if they want to survive the AI risk, they should embrace EI (emotional intelligence),” he said.