Workers would actually prefer it if their boss was an AI robot

art of a human hand with artificial intelligence via laptop
(Image credit: SvetaZi / Shutterstock)

It appears that some workers, rather than fearing the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace, would actually welcome it - if it means replacing their superiors.

A survey of a thousand employees conducted by the AI service Business Name Generator found that nearly a fifth would be happy for an automated robot to replace their current boss. 

This opinion seems to stem from the gripes many have with their employer, chief of which are a lack of appreciation and empathy, as well as favoritism shown towards certain workers over others.

Doing a better job

Other elements of discontent with bosses included their unclear expectations, disorganization and micromanagement. 

1 in 5 workers from the UK and the US said that a robot would do a better job in the position, with a third also believing that they will soon takeover the workplace anyway.

Somewhat surprisingly, given the importance of human creativity in the field, 30% of UK workers in Arts and Culture were happy for AI to replace their boss, making it the most highly represented industry. This was followed by HR (23%) and Manufacturing and Utility (19%). Finance was tied with the latter at 19%, and fifth was Healthcare at 17%.

There was also a minor discrepancy between genders, with 18% of males happy to replace their boss with a robot, and 14% of females. The gap was bigger, however, between generations, which is perhaps less surprising; a third of respondents between 18-24 were eager for the replacement, whilst only 12% of those over 55 were.

The most common reasons as to why certain respondents preferred the idea of an AI manager over a human were the perceived elimination of favoritism and discrimination, as well as its superiority in making unbiased decisions.

Other reasons included the fact that AI would remove workplace drama and overall make it a fairer environment. 

The only downsides of having an AI boss that were cited by respondents were the lack of softer skills it would have, and the struggle for them to take it seriously as an authority figure. However, 22% would still feel better talking to an AI about their workplace frustrations, and 18% would simply have more trust in it over a human boss. 

Lewis Maddison
Staff Writer

Lewis Maddison is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro. His area of expertise is online security and protection, which includes tools and software such as password managers. 

His coverage also focuses on the usage habits of technology in both personal and professional settings - particularly its relation to social and cultural issues - and revels in uncovering stories that might not otherwise see the light of day.

He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of London, with a year spent studying abroad in the sunny climes of Malta.