UAE residents prefer robot as colleague than boss


colleague, UAE residents, boss, robot, workplace

Dubai - Men are more comfortable than women in sharing a professional life with robots.

By Staff report

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Published: Thu 24 Oct 2019, 11:05 AM

Last updated: Fri 25 Oct 2019, 11:49 AM

As Dubai hosts one of the biggest festivals in robotics and artificial intelligence- '2019 First Global DXB Challenge' from today, new YouGov research reveals UAE resident's views on life with robots and shows that people in the UAE are much more uncomfortable having a robot as a boss than a colleague.
When asked how they would feel about working with a robot, a quarter (24 per cent) said they would be uncomfortable about having one as a co-worker, a figure that rises to more than a third (34 per cent) when it comes to having one as a manager. The data also reveals that people are also more comfortable about the idea of a robot co-worker (39 per cent) than a robot boss (34).
Men are more comfortable than women in sharing a professional life with robots - both as colleagues (44 per cent men vs 31 per cent women) and having them as their superior (38 per cent vs 26 per cent).

There is more optimism among UAE residents about sharing a personal life with robots, with three in five (60 per cent) saying they can imagine befriending a robot in the future.
However, few UAE residents think robots have developed enough emotional capabilities to form relationships with humans. Just one in six (16 per cent) think robots have already developed such capacities, compared to three in ten (31 per cent) who believe they will do so in the future. Two in five (41 per cent) reckon robots will never be able to develop emotional capabilities advanced enough to replace human relationships.
When it comes to intelligence, a third of UAE residents (34 per cent) believe robots have already overtaken humans in terms of intelligence, while four in ten (39 per cent) think they will do so in time. Only a fifth (19 per cent) doubt that robots will ever be more intelligent than humans.
Young adults between 18-29 years of age are the group most likely to think robots have already developed higher intelligence than humans (39 per cent), compared to around three in ten of those in their thirties (31 per cent) and aged 40 and above (29 per cent).

YouGov's research reveals people in the UAE are divided on what constitutes a robot. More than half believe machines 'capable of providing companionship' - digital assistants such as Alexa, iPhone Siri, etc. (56 per cent), alongside 'machine automation- inventions like driverless cars, automatic vacuum cleaners (53 per cent) are robots. However, nearing two in five (38 per cent) would classify 'machine-assisted technology' - such as a self-checkout machine, or ATMs as robots, and almost as many (36 per cent) would categorise 'machines capable of taking non-verbal commands such as GPS'- as robots.
Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 1,003 respondents in the UAE between October 7 and 14, 2019 using YouGov's panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in the country

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