Machines have replaced humans jobs for over a hundred years, but with advancing technology, AI threatens jobs now more than ever. But what are peoples’ feelings about losing their income to a robot or a computer program?
After an extensive study, it turns out that people are concerned about job loss to AI in general – like when it threatens other peoples’ jobs – and prefer it when other people who lose their jobs are replaced by humans.
But when it comes to them personally, people would rather lose their job to an algorithm than another person. Why?
To make this finding, researchers performed a series of experiments. Participants were from the U.S. and Europe, and ranged from college students to participants in online labor markets, managers who were currently employed, and people who had recently been fired.
It comes down to social status: If you lose your job to a human, it might be because that person is more skilled than you.
But if you lose it to a robot, it’s a hopeless situation – or what the study authors call “reduced self-threat.” After all, how can workers compete with a machine or a piece of software?
The findings were published in Nature Human Behavior.