UAE residents anxious of having a robot-boss over a robot colleague

by John Carlo Bogayan

Photo: Emirates 24/7

2019 FIRST Global DXB Challenge is the biggest festival in robotics and artificial intelligence hosted by Dubai. As part of this event, YouGov research unveils a study that shows perspective on life with robots. The result shows that people in the UAE are much more uncomfortable having a robot as a boss than a colleague.

The survey asked residents how they would feel about working with a robot, a quarter or 24% said they would be uncomfortable about having an artificially powered colleague, and that figure increases to more than a third or 34% when asked about having one as a manager.

On the other hand, the study reveals that people are more comfortable about the idea of a robot colleague, 39%, than a robot boss, 34%.


Furthermore, the study shows that men are more comfortable in sharing their professional life with robots than women, 31% for women and 44% for men in colleagues, and having them as superior ranks 38% for men and 26% for women.

On the other hand, few UAE residents think robots have developed enough emotional capabilities to establish a relationship with humans. Only one out of six think robots are ready to understand human feelings, and three out of ten believes that they will develop that skill in the future.

Meanwhile, two out of five shared that robot will never be able to replace human to human relationship.

In terms of intelligence, 34% of the UAE residents believe that robots have the higher intellectual capacity than humans, while 39% thinks that robot will be able to do it in the future. A low percentage of 19% thinks that robot will never be smart as humans.

Young adults between 18-29 years of age are the group most likely to think robots have already developed higher intelligence than humans (39%), compared to around three in ten of those in their thirties (31%) and aged 40 and above (29%).