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64% of people trust a robot more than their manager according to an Oracle study

Global research highlights how AI is changing the relationship between people and technology at work

Artificial Intelligence, Oracle, UAE

This one might seem relatable. People have more trust in robots than their managers, according to the second annual AI at Work study conducted by Oracle and Future Workplace, a research firm preparing leaders for disruptions in recruiting, development and employee engagement.

The study of 8,370 employees, managers and HR leaders across 10 countries, found that AI has changed the relationship between people and technology at work and is reshaping the role HR teams and managers need to play in attracting, retaining and developing talent.

AI is Changing the Relationship Between People and Technology at Work

Contrary to common fears around how AI will impact jobs, employees, managers and HR leaders across the globe are reporting increased adoption of AI at work and many are welcoming AI with love and optimism.
• AI is becoming more prominent with 50 percent of workers currently using some form of AI at work compared to only 32 percent last year.
• Workers in the UAE (62 percent), China (77 percent) and India (78 percent) have adopted AI over 2X more than those in France (32 percent) and Japan (29 percent).
• The majority (65 percent) of workers 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.
• Workers in India (60 percent) and China (56 percent) are the most excited about AI, followed by the UAE (44 percent), Singapore (41 percent), Brazil (32 percent), Australia/New Zealand (26 percent), Japan (25 percent), U.S. (22 percent), UK (20 percent) and France (8 percent).
• Men have a more positive view of AI at work than women in the UAE with 61 percent of men optimistic vs. 55 percent of women.

Workers Trust Robots More Than Their Managers

The increasing adoption of AI at work is having a significant impact on the way employees interact with their managers. As a result, the traditional role of HR teams and the manager is shifting.

• 64 percent of people would trust a robot more than their manager and half have turned to a robot instead of their manager for advice.
• Workers in India (89 percent) and China (88 percent) are more trusting of robots over their managers, followed by Singapore (83 percent), Brazil (78%), Japan (76 percent), UAE (74 percent), Australia/New Zealand (58 percent), U.S. (57 percent), UK (54 percent) and France (56 percent).
• In the UAE, more men (76 percent) than women (64 percent) have turned to AI over their managers.
• 82 percent of people think robots can do things better than their managers.
• When asked what robots can do better than their managers, UAE survey respondents said robots are better at maintaining work schedules (42 percent), problem solving (34 percent) and providing unbiased information (32 percent)
• When asked what managers can do better than robots, UAE workers said the top three tasks were understanding their feelings (46 percent), coaching them (32 percent) and evaluate team performance (25 percent).

AI is Here to Stay: Organizations Need to Simplify and Secure AI to Stay Competitive

The impact of AI at work is only just beginning and in order to take advantage of the latest advancements in AI, organizations need to focus on simplifying and securing AI at work or risk being left behind.
• 88 percent of UAE workers surveyed (and 84 percent of HR leaders) find it challenging to keep up with the pace of technological changes in the workplace.
• UAE workers want a simplified experience with AI at work, asking for a better user interface (43 percent), best practice training (41 percent) and an experience that is personalized to their behavior (35 percent).
• Privacy (41 percent) and security (40 percent) are the main concerns preventing UAE workers from using AI at work.
• Digital natives Gen Z (41 percent) and Millennials (45 percent) are more concerned about privacy and security at work than Gen X (33 percent).

Methodology

Research findings are based on a global survey conducted by Savanta between July 2 to August 9, 2019. In total, 8,370 completed the survey. The study was administered online and fielded in 10 different countries (and in six languages). Permanent full-time employees between the ages 18 – 74 years old were eligible to participate. The survey targeted HR Leaders, Managers and Employees. Respondents are recruited through a number of different mechanisms, via different sources to join the panels and participate in market research surveys. All panelists have passed a double opt-in process and complete on average 300 profiling data points prior to taking part in surveys. Respondents are invited to take part via email and are provided with a small monetary incentive for doing so.

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