If you were going to lose your job, would you prefer to be replaced by a robot or another person? If you said robot, you’re in the majority. Most people would prefer a robot to take their job if they had to lose it, but they would prefer to see another human step in if a co-worker was going to lose theirs. NewScientist reports:
“Being replaced by modern technology versus being replaced by humans has different psychological consequences,” says Armin Granulo at Technical University of Munich in Germany. He and his colleagues set out to examine these differences.
They asked 300 people to judge whether they would prefer an existing member of staff to be replaced by a robot or a human. In that case, 62 per cent of people said they preferred to have a human step in. But when they were asked to shift their perspective and imagine losing their own job, 37 per cent preferred being replaced by a human rather than a robot…
The team found that people rated robots as less threatening to their self-identity than human replacements in a job setting. They asked questions about which type of replacement would make someone feel more devalued, raise more doubts about themselves, or make them question their own abilities.
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.