One Third Of Young Canadians Prefer Robot Boss
31 percent of Canadians aged 20 to 39 think that a computer program would be better at hiring, assessing and managing its employees. This is according to a survey carried out on 2299 people by Vancouver-based consultancy Intensions and futurist activist Nikolas Badminton.
The main pro-robot argument is that synthetic managers would be unbiased and therefore more honest and reliable than their human counterparts. Sexism, prejudice and irrational behaviors are thought to be among the ills a robotic boss would do away with.
According to Nikolas Badminton, who contributed to the study: "People are losing faith in human management, and rightly so.
"Who would you trust, a human with personal biases and opinions or a rational and balanced AI? These results are not surprising, and I expect to start seeing automated HR and management systems being deployed in the next 3 to 5 years — with a human touch to maintain creativity and empathy."
Science fiction fans of course have been preparing themselves for this eventuality for many years. Star Trek fans inevitably recall Landru, the computer system that ran an entire planet, telling everyone what to do:
Fans of William Gibson recall Wintermute, the AI that was giving the orders in Neuromancer:
Case lowered the gun. `This is the matrix. You're Wintermute.'
`Yes. This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course. I'm glad I was able to cut you off before you'd managed to jack out.' Deane walked around the desk, straightened his chair, and sat down. `Sit, old son. We have a lot to talk about.'
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