STUDY: High-performing robots demoralize human co-workers
Robots are jerks.
That’s according to the demoralized humans who played against the machines for money in a recent Cornell University-led experiment shedding light on what can happen to worker’s drive in an increasingly automated workplace.
When humans unsuccessfully vied against a robot arm for cash prizes, participants ended up viewing themselves as less competent, didn’t try as hard, and tended to dislike the automated appendage that bested them, the researchers found.
“I felt very stressed competing with the robot,” one participant admitted. “In some rounds, I kept seeing the robot’s score increasing out of the corner of my eye, which was extremely nerve-racking [sic].”
Another said in “some rounds the robot would go slower and that’s when I started going faster.”
“It was obvious when the robot was ’going easy’ on me,” according to another person.