Robotic Colleagues: Generation Y Expects to See More Technology in the Workplace

Generation Y sees the influence of artificial intelligence and robots on the job market as a positive one – but it is less accepting of certain developments.

While some fear that they will soon lose their jobs as a result of progressive automation, others take an optimistic view of the future. The majority of “Generation Y” believe that new technologies will lead to an increase in the number of jobs rather than a decline. This is the opinion expressed by 79% of 18 to 35-year-olds from 186 countries, who were interviewed by the Global Shapers Survey 2017. Robotics and Artificial Intelligence were the most important trends for participants in the study.

In the survey, participants also indicated how important technical expertise is if you want to stand out from the competition when applying for jobs, with 46% stating that applicants who haven’t had the relevant training will find it hard to get a job in the future. According to figures published by the European Commission, however, two fifths of workers in Europe currently lack the necessary qualifications. This could be one of the reasons why experts’ estimations of the effect of Industry 4.0 on the future of human workers are considerably more negative than those of Generation Y, which has grown up surrounded by digital technology.

Generation Y Says No to Chips under the Skin

However, the participants in the study did express some criticisms. Around half would not trust any decisions that a machine had made for them. Roughly the same number of people wouldn’t be prepared to grant human rights to humanoid robots. What’s more, some 44% of participants would refuse to have a chip implanted under their skin or in their brain to improve their performance. This may sound like science fiction, but some companies are already testing it out.

Generation Y has no reservations about robots.
Generation Y has no reservations about robots. Image: Flickr–Stephen Chin (CC BY 2.0) – (Montage)

The attitudes expressed by the participants in the study towards these practices is particularly relevant to decision-makers from the world of politics and economics, since Generation Y has a significant impact on the commodities and job markets due to its size. People who belong to this age group feel that technology enhances their life. For Generation Y, however, this is hugely dependent on the form in which robots and artificial intelligence are integrated into the working world of the future.

Cover photo: Wikipedia – Humanrobo (CC BY-SA 3.0) – (Montage)

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