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posted by janrinok on Wednesday November 23, @08:12AM   Printer-friendly

The study found that robots aren't replacing humans at the rate most people think, but people are prone to exaggerate the rate of robot takeover:

It's easy to believe that robots are stealing jobs from human workers and drastically disrupting the labor market; after all, you've likely heard that chatbots make more efficient customer service representatives and that computer programs are tracking and moving packages without the use of human hands.

But there's no need to panic about a pending robot takeover just yet, says a new study from BYU sociology professor Eric Dahlin. Dahlin's research found that robots aren't replacing humans at the rate most people think, but people are prone to severely exaggerate the rate of robot takeover.

The study, recently published in Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, found that only 14% of workers say they've seen their job replaced by a robot. But those who have experienced job displacement due to a robot overstate the effect of robots taking jobs from humans by about three times.

[...] Those who had been replaced by a robot (about 14%), estimated that 47% of all jobs have been taken over by robots. Similarly, those who hadn't experienced job replacement still estimated that 29% of jobs have been supplanted by robots.

"Overall, our perceptions of robots taking over is greatly exaggerated," said Dahlin. "Those who hadn't lost jobs overestimated by about double, and those who had lost jobs overestimated by about three times."

Attention-grabbing headlines predicting a dire future of employment have likely overblown the threat of robots taking over jobs, said Dahlin, who noted that humans' fear of being replaced by automated work processes dates to the early 1800s.

[...] Dahlin says these findings are consistent with previous studies, which suggest that robots aren't displacing workers. Rather, workplaces are integrating both employees and robots in ways that generate more value for human labor.

Journal Reference:
Eric Dahlin, Are Robots Really Stealing Our Jobs? Perception versus Experience [open], Socius, 8, 2022. DOI: 10.1177/23780231221131377

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  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday November 23, @06:19PM (2 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday November 23, @06:19PM (#1281309) Journal

    Even apart from horrible management, of which there's far too much, lot of jobs are crappy. Who really wants to be a janitor? A crop picker? Meat plant employee working the line? A toll booth operator? A convenience store clerk? Boring! Tedious! Some of those are rather risky too. Never know when some idiot high on something is going to try armed robbery for a bag of chips and a few small bills, and somehow end up shooting the clerk even if the clerk was not resisting. Robots can have those jobs.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @09:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @09:24PM (#1281336)

    I don't know about some of the others, but toll booth operator can be a pretty sweet job [] in some places.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by hendrikboom on Wednesday November 23, @11:21PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 23, @11:21PM (#1281348) Homepage Journal

    I guess robots will be competent enough not to shoot the clerk.