The automation of work, including the use of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), is expected to rapidly increase. In fact, recent research by think tank ‘Centre for Cities’ found that one in five jobs in Britain will fall victim to automation by 2030.
These findings are further echoed by auditing firm ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)’, who estimate more than 10 million UK workers will be at high risk of being displaced by robots within the next 15 years.
As the prevalence of automation becomes more common in our day-to-day routines (supermarket self-service tills, air travel self-check in etc.), it’s threat towards human jobs only becomes more apparent.
Interested in this phenomenon, Reboot Digital Marketing analysed findings from Mindshare, who surveyed more than 6,000 individuals from across the UK to see whether they would prefer robots or humans in eight different occupations/scenarios.
Reboot Digital Marketing found that when making car comparisons with the intention to eventually purchase, a significant percentage of Brits would want robots (60%) aiding them instead of humans (40%). Thereafter, Brits would be most inclined to accept music/film recommendations from robots at 49% – though 51% would still opt to do so from other people (family, friends etc.).
Fascinatingly, even though most Brits (75%) would still prefer humans to be MP’s, 25% would elect robots to be in this position of power. Moreover, despite the negative perceptions associated with bankers as a direct result from the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, Brits would still select humans (71%) over robots (29%) to be in their respective role.
On the other end of the scale, 11% of Brits would be least willing to take medical advice from robots. Similarly, only 14% of Brits would not feel apprehensive about receiving legal advice from robots.
Shai Aharony, managing director of Reboot Digital Marketing commented: “Automation is undoubtedly on the rise. As the technologies which underpin its development become more sophisticated and efficient, certain industries will certainly face the real prospect of robotics and artificial intelligence disrupting their traditional flow of human labour.
Whilst the assumption tends to be that it will either be people or robots, I believe they will complement each other in different tasks and facilitate new types of jobs. What this research certainly demonstrates is that Brits currently favour humans as opposed to robots in a handful of occupations/situations. Although, as automation becomes more prominent and Brits understanding of it drastically improves, this may potentially change”.