Thursday, 17 October 2019 11:35

ANZ workers tend to trust robots more than their managers: claim

ANZ workers tend to trust robots more than their managers: claim Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

More than half of the Australians and New Zealanders who participated in a survey about artificial intelligence have indicated they trust a robot more than their manager, while half say they have sought advice from a mechanical being rather than their manager.

Eleven countries participated in the survey and the overall figure of those who would trust a robot more than their manager was 64%, while 38% opined that robots could do certain types of work better than their bosses.

The AI at Work report was issued by database giant Oracle and Future Workplace, a research firm preparing leaders for disruptions in recruiting, development and employee engagement. The actual survey was carried out by a company known as Savanta.


A total of 8370 employees was surveyed from 11 countries: the US. the UK, France, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, the UAE, Brazil, Singapore, and Japan. The number from Australia and New Zealand was about 500, going by the chart provided.

Ninety percent of those surveyed in India said robots would replace their managers in the future; the figure was 32% for all participants, with responses from China (88%) and Singapore (84%) also being on the high side.

Thirty-one percent of those surveyed said they did not use AI at work because they preferred human interaction. Security concerns (31%), privacy concerns (30%), fear of being laid off or having to lay off employees (19%) and being unconvinced of the impact of AI (18%) were other reasons advanced.


Significantly, 21% of those who responded said they had no reason for not using AI at work, but simply did not want to do so.

Other findings:

  • In ANZ, 57% are currently using some form of AI in the workplace, compared to 77% in China, the leading adopter. This is also almost double to France, and Japan, where AI adoption is 32% and 29% respectively.
  • The majority (65%) of workers globally are optimistic, excited and grateful about having robot co-workers and nearly a quarter report having a loving and gratifying relationship with AI at work.
  • However, ANZ workers are not as enthusiastic, with only 1 in 3 (30%) optimistic about robot co-workers and 1 in 5 (20%) nervous about the prospect.
  • Just a quarter (26%) of ANZ workers are excited about AI, compared with workers in India (60%) and China (56%) who are the most excited. Workers in France are the least excited about AI (8%).
  • Men globally have a more positive view of AI at work than women with 47% of men excited vs 30% of women.
  • Ninety-two percent of ANZ workers (and 96% of HR leaders) find it challenging to keep up with the pace of technological changes in the workplace.
  • Workers in ANZ want a simplified experience with AI at work, asking for a better user interface (34%), best practice training (35%) and an experience that is personalised to their behaviour (28%).

Emily He, senior vice-president, Human Capital Management Cloud Business Group, Oracle, commented: "The latest advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence are rapidly reaching mainstream, resulting in a massive shift in the way people across the world interact with technology and their teams.

better ai

"As this study shows, the relationship between humans and machines is being redefined at work, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to successfully managing this change.

"Instead, organisations need to partner with their HR organisation to personalise the approach to implementing AI at work in order to meet the changing expectations of their teams around the world.”

Graphics: courtesy Oracle and Future Workplace


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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