Downtime

Oct 20 2017   3:16PM GMT

I always thought my boss was a robot

Zach Emmanuel Profile: Zach Emmanuel

Tags:
Artificial intelligence
Automation
Robotics

You: “You alright?”

Boss: “Good morning Joe, I trust you slept well and the commute was satisfactory.”

This could be a regular welcome if we start to work for robot bosses, and new research has shown that almost a third of British employees would be happy to do just that.

FreeAgent, supplier of cloud accounting software, polled 1,000 workers about their attitudes towards having a robot as a boss, and 31% said they would be happy with it. Also, 42% of them said they would be comfortable taking orders from a robot.

Other findings included that 11% of the workers felt a robo-boss would have better efficiency than a human counterpart. Also, 24% said they wouldn’t want to work for a machine because it’d be “freaky/odd”- it looks like Will Smith was right.

The survey also asked respondents if they felt their job was at risk with the rise of automation. This was almost an even split, but 56% said they were not concerned.

Ed Molyneux, CEO of FreeAgent, said the change could be a driving factor for more self-employment: “The shifting landscape of AI and new technology will have a major impact on people in employment. Previous research we’ve carried out has suggested that many employed people are keen to quit their jobs and start their own businesses.”

“So as automation takes a more prominent role in the workforce, it’s likely we could see a self-employment boom in the future. In this scenario, automation will actually be a major benefit for these new businesses, as technological advances will make business admin and data management much easier to manage than ever before.”

The workers were also asked if they agreed with the statement that robo-bosses should pay tax, with 57% agreeing. Those who disagreed, instead picked the statement: ‘it would set a precedent as other technology doesn’t get taxed like a person’.

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