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The results are in. A survey of managers found that they’d rather have robots working for them than people. And on the flip side, a parallel report found that workers would rather have robots for managers rather than a person. Unfortunately, ultimately both wishes may come true.
The first was a report from MindEdge. It surveyed 1000 managers in the US, of which 60 percent reported that they thought that robots and intelligent algorithms had better performance and produced higher quality work than humans.
The second survey was performed by FreeAgent of 1000 workers in the UK. Of those workers, 53 percent said that they’d prefer robot managers to human ones. 32 percent said that they thought a robotic CEO would be good.
Ed Molyneux, CEO of FreeAgent, said that “I think we’re now viewing things like Artificial Intelligence, chatbots, machine learning and the myriad recent advancements in computer science as part of the wider robotics umbrella – and that’s making it easier for the public to understand and engage with the general concept of ‘robots.’”
But early reports of using algorithms to manage human productivity have not all been pretty. Some reports say that Amazon, for example, already manages some of its warehouse workers by algorithm. A report by Verge found an Amazon document that says it “tracks the rates of each individual associate’s productivity and automatically generates any warnings or terminations regarding quality or productivity without input from supervisors.”
Automated work done by businesses is said to be doubling every three years. This is a story that will only grow over time.