In China, the vast majority of workers would rather be managed by a robot or AI algorithm than a human.
That’s fitting, because the South China Morning Post newspaper reports that the country plans to increase the number of robots in its workforce tenfold over the next five years. The pro-AI sentiments, shared by 88 percent of the Chinese workers surveyed, is a stark contrast to warnings about how automation will kill jobs — instead, these respondents generally look forward to a bright future of human-robot cooperation.
The new survey comes from the software company Oracle and research firm Future Workplace, SCMP reports. In it, nearly nine out of ten Chinese workers said that they’d prefer to have AI schedule their work and handle other managerial tasks. India had the most pro-robot responses at 89 percent, while only 54 percent of British people and 57 percent of Americans said they’d prefer a robot.
But the entire survey was administered online, and only included 8,370 people across ten countries — and fewer than 1,000 in China — so it’s not clear whether it’s representative of the 800 million people in China’s workforce.
About two-thirds of survey participants — not just those from China — said that they looked forward to having robot coworkers, according to SCMP.
One particularly-bizarre highlight: about a quarter of participants said they already had a “loving and gratifying” relationship with AI at their workplace, leaving us wondering how, exactly, they interact with their managers.
READ MORE: Almost 90 per cent of Chinese workers trust a robot more than their human managers, survey finds [South China Morning Post]
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