Brits Are Sabotaging Workplace Robots Out of Fear They Might Lose Their Job

Whether we like it or not, robots will be taking over from us in many fields. We many be unable to prevent it, but the Brits feel that they can, at the very least, put up a decent fight to try and stall progress.
Brits are sabotaging workplace robots, says researcher 12 photos
Skybot F-850Skybot F-850Skybot F-850Skybot F-850Skybot F-850Skybot F-850Skybot F-850Skybot F-850Skybot F-850Skybot F-850Skybot F-850
By 2030, more than 20 million people will have been replaced by workplace robots, a recent report by global forecasting company Oxford Economics says, as cited by Telegraph. While some countries may be more welcoming of robots and AI in the workplace, the Brits have a difficult time in adjusting because they fear they might lose their jobs. And they’re even carrying out small acts of rebellion whose goal is to sabotage the robots.

Whether their purpose is to show that robots aren’t reliable or to convince their bosses that they’re not worth the investment once they break down is not mentioned. However, the publication cites Jonathan Payne, Professor of Work, Employment and Skills, from the De Montfort University, who led a recent study on the topic, confirming Brits’ reluctance to welcome AI into the workplace.

“We heard stories of workers standing in the way of robots, and minor acts of sabotage – and not playing along with them,” Payne told the publication. “The UK seems to have a problem with diffusion and take-up of technology.”

In 20 years’ time, humanity would better remember that the resistance started not with Sarah Connor, but with the British people.

For what it’s worth, the University denies Payne made the remark to the Telegraph but stands by the findings of the study: there are great differences in the way countries adjust to workplace AI. Reluctance to embrace it seems to stem from employers’ lack of explanations, i.e. bosses don’t see fit to tell their employees exactly why a robot is needed and what kind of improvements it would bring. This creates tension and makes the employees think of the robots as the enemy, instead of a tireless aide.

The study also reveals the more “vulnerable” regions when it comes to workplace robots: East Yorkshire, Northern Lincolnshire, Shropshire, Stafordshire, Cumbria, West Wales and the Valleys. It also highlights the fact that many UK businesses struggle to find the robot alternative “cost effective,” because of implementation costs that would ensure a smooth transition.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Elena Gorgan
Elena Gorgan profile photo

Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories