Workers would prefer to be replaced by a robot rather than a person – study

Robots have been taking the place of human workers because they are seen as a cheaper and more reliable source of labor. It seems clear that within the next couple of decades, machines could be performing up to 50% of all jobs currently done by humans.

It sounds quite depressing and surprising, but a new study by the researchers from the Technical University of Munich and Erasmus University Rotterdam has revealed workers would rather be replaced by a robot rather than another human being. Well, that means the chances are you would rather not lose your job at all. But if it happened, losing it to a robot won’t be quite as disappointing.

Being replaced by modern technology versus being replaced by humans has different psychological consequences,” says Armin Granulo at the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

For their study, the researchers asked 300 people if they would rather see a colleague replaced by a human or a robot. In that case, 62% of people said they preferred to have a human step in. The team also asked the same group how they would feel if it was their own job, 37% preferred being replaced by a human rather than a robot.

In their next study, Granulo and his team asked 251 people to rate negativity like sadness, anger or frustration they felt about losing a job to a robot versus another human. The team reports that respondents showed stronger negative emotions toward replacing other people’s jobs with robots than when they considered losing their own job to a robot.

People in this group also expressed that they felt less threatened by the thought of losing a job to a robot versus another person. This is likely because people do not feel the need to compete with a robot the way they would with another person, according to the researchers.

That may be because people don’t feel they can or must compete with a robot or a piece of software in the same way as they might another person, says Granulo,” reports New Scientist.

Their report is published in the journal Nature Human Behavior.

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