Half of US workers are not afraid to be displaced by robots

The worker survey includes responses from more than 2,800 professionals in 28 major US cities

Half of US workers are not afraid to be displaced by robots. Source: shutterstock.com

Are workers worried they’ll be displaced by robots in the future? Not for the most part, new research from global staffing firm Robert Half shows. Only 12% of workers are concerned that artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will have a negative impact on their job. About four in 10 (39%) believe new technologies will have a positive effect, and 49% foresee no change at all.

But futurists and staffing experts interviewed for Robert Half’s new report, Jobs and AI Anxiety, believe emerging technologies are profoundly shifting the workplace. According to more than 1,200 business leaders surveyed for the research, one of the top ways technological advancements will affect jobs is that they will require new skills from employees.

There's no question new technology will continue to transform jobs in all fields, from finance and accounting to legal and marketing — and professionals need to embrace and stay ahead of changes. Employees who are committed to learning about and preparing for advancements in the workplace will be best positioned for success
Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half

In addition to requiring new skills (47%), employers said other top impacts of new technologies on their staff include:

  • Increased employee productivity (47%);
  • More time for teams to focus on strategic areas (44%);
  • New career opportunities (44%);
  • Change in processes (44%).

Almost 2 in 5 employees (39%) said they see AI and automation having a positive impact on their job, mainly for the following reasons:

  • Increased productivity (33%);
  • Ability to develop new skills and deliver better business solutions (27%);
  • Opportunity to focus on creativity and problem-solving (27%).

The online surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. The worker survey includes responses from more than 2,800 professionals 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in 28 major US cities. More than 1,200 managers in the US were surveyed for the Jobs and AI Anxiety report.

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