It looks like Americans aren’t too excited about working with artificial intelligence. According to a new survey from Oracle and Future Workplace, only 22 percent of American workers are “excited about AI.”
About 60 percent of Indian workers and 56 percent of Chinese workers are excited about working with AI. Only 8 percent of French workers are excited about it.
The researchers asked over 8,000 people in 10 different countries how they feel about AI in the workplace. The participants were between 18 and 74 years old. I’d imagine the older folks were the least excited about AI.
It’s unclear why Americans aren’t too excited about working with AI, but there are many possibilities. AI is often associated with societal problems like automation, deepfakes, racial issues and more in the American media.
Furthermore, people are often just generally resistant to having to work with new technology while they’re on the job.
Jeanne Meister, a founding partner at Future Workplace, tells Inverse that she believes the media has played a big role in how people view AI.
“I think the media has put a lot of fear into people,” Meister says. “I think there are a lot of misconceptions that need to be cleared up.”
Meister says managers need to tell employees that AI can help make their lives easier and that it’s not about them being replaced by robots.
“I think the conversation has to move from AI displacing jobs to AI automating tasks, and that leaves you, as the employee, with more free time to pursue more strategic tasks or drive more value to the organization,” Meister says.
There’s also just a “fear of the unknown,” Meister says. People worry about their workplace changing in any way if they’re comfortable at their job.
There are quite a few other interesting data points in this survey. The researchers found about 50 percent of workers worldwide are already working with AI at their jobs. Surprisingly, 57 percent of American workers said they trust robots more than their manager. It would seem their dislike for working with robots is not as intense as their dislike for their bosses.
“I think the people who are inclined to use AI can really envision some use cases that actually a robot can deliver the answers to these frequently asked questions with speed and when they want it, rather than chasing around their manager who might not be available,” Meister says.
Whether American workers like it or not, AI is increasingly becoming a part of the workplace. Sometimes that means job losses and sometimes it means helpful innovations that make our work lives easier. If you don’t like your boss, maybe you’ll get lucky and get a robot boss soon. To me, that sounds like a nightmare.