Consumers welcome workplace AI & robotics, says ARM
ARM: Consumers ready to welcome AI & robotics into the workplace

Consumers welcome workplace AI & robotics, says ARM

Consumers are confident that the introduction of robotics and artificial intelligence in the workplace will enhance and not destroy their jobs, according to a recent survey from semiconductor company ARM.

In its AI Today, AI Tomorrow global survey of 4,000 consumers, carried out by Northstar Research Partners, more than six out of ten (61 percent) of respondents said they believe that an increase in automation and AI would make “society become better”. In particular, 37 percent believe there will be advancements in medicine and science that help humans live longer and healthier lives, and are prepared to trust machines to diagnose illnesses.

Those who believe advancements in AI and robotics will lead to fewer jobs for humans are in the minority, with just 30 percent identifying “fewer or different jobs for humans” as the biggest drawback to these technological changes.

Instead, 29 percent of respondents feel that tedious or dangerous tasks will be done by robots, and 11 percent see less chance of human accidents or mistakes. In fact, many companies are already doing this, including General Electric in automating its field services and the use of maintenance drones from enterprise applications company, IFS.

Read more: Manchester Uni plans for robots to work on nuclear clean-ups

Ripe for disruption?

On a more granular level, survey respondents said they believe that jobs in manufacturing and banking would be most disrupted by new AI technologies, while occupations related to cooking, fire-fighting and farming will continue to be the domain of humans. This was the view of most people surveyed about a robotic future; with those surveyed in Asia responding most positively, followed by the US and then Europe.

“It is encouraging to see the survey results highlighting the optimism and opportunities tied to AI, but we are just scratching the surface of its potential,” said Joyce Kim, vice president of global marketing, brand and communications at ARM.

“The impact of AI on jobs will be disruptive but it can be a manageable and highly positive disruption in terms of opportunities and enhancing our lives. If we increase our investments in STEM and educating the next-generation workforce on AI technologies, we can ensure they are not left behind in the robot economy.”

Read more: Trend Micro finds 83,000 industrial robots are ‘exposed’