NEWS11 July 2018

Humans preferable to AI for dealing with workplace issues, finds IPA

Innovations News Technology UK

UK – The majority of the British public would prefer to deal with a human being rather than the prospect of interacting with AI in the workplace when it comes to issues requiring empathy, such as promotions, according to IPA research.

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The survey of 1,000 GB consumers and 100 advertising and marketing individuals found that the majority would prefer to interact with a human than a hypothetical AI system when dealing with sensitive issues such as promotions ( 81%), pay rises ( 79%), reporting mental health issues ( 80%) and reporting colleague misconduct ( 76%).

Systems that can help with data analysis could be one of the most amenable applications of workplace AI, with 49% of respondents finding this prospect appealing. Other appealing use cases are AI offering prompts to be healthy at work ( 45%) and making the workplace more environmentally friendly ( 41%).

The research also suggests people are more open to the concept of interacting with AI for more general workplace tasks – 61% of respondents said they would prefer to deal with an AI system or a person using AI for admin. Over half would be amenable to AI for project updates ( 56%) and enquiring about payroll ( 53%).

Nigel Gwilliam, head of media and emerging tech at the IPA, said: “It’s clear the more sensitive a matter, the more strongly the general public think they would want to interact with another person. The picture is of people currently viewing AI as most helpful with the mundane, repetitive and data-intensive, whilst nuance and empathy require personal interaction.”