British employees are deliberately sabotaging workplace robots over fears the machines will take their jobs, new study claims
· British employees are deliberately sabotaging workplace robots over fears the machines will take their jobs, new study claims
- Manual workers have found their own way of stopping the robot's rise, sabotage
- Study by De Montfort University compared UK's use of robots to Norway
- It found that UK workers are particularly adverse to the introduction of the intelligent machines into the work place
UK workers are sabotaging and assaulting workplace robots in an attempt to stop them taking their jobs, finds study.
It's a common science fiction depiction of the future, artificial intelligence overthrows the human race.
But for some manual workers they have found their own ways of stopping the robots' rise to world domination - by confusing them.
Compared to Norway where the study found co-working robots are often given affectionate names and welcomed.
Jonathan Payne, Professor of Work, Employment and Skills, said: 'We heard stories of workers standing in the way of robots, and minor acts of sabotage - and not playing along with them.'
Adding: 'The UK seems to have a problem with diffusion and take-up of technology.'
The use of machines in the place of people has slowly crept in, more so over the last five years, this can be seen in most supermarkets as cashiers are replaced with self-checkouts.
Professor Payne, who led the study, said that British businesses are less likely to get on a level with their employees and explain to them why they want to use the machines.
In turn this can lead to a higher level of resentment for the robots.
Incidents of 'robot abuse' are currently more publicised in the U.S. where a patrolling security robot was found drowned in a Washington D.C. office block fountain under mysterious circumstances, Knightscope, the company behind the robot claim that it slipped.
Starship Technologies, a San Francisco company who launched delivery robots in the UK, have faced attempted thefts from the robots as they go about their duty.
While one Scottish supermarket, Margiotta, had to fire it's store robot after it 'alarmed' shoppers as it handed out pulled pork samples, reports The Telegraph.
Greg Williams of Active8 Robots, a consultancy that helps businesses integrate cobots (robots that work with humans), told People management: 'Businesses are definitely being affected by Brexit.
'People are starting to realise that they're not going to be able to get the same sort of low-paid staff to do mundane jobs. It's leading some quite large organisations to ask if we can help.'
The publication also spoke to one British company that employs robots and requires humans to carry fellow robot colleagues out of the building on their shoulder when the fire alarm sounds.
UK areas most 'vulnerable' to the rise of robots were analysed by Oxford Economics, who found that East Yorkshire, Northern Lincolnshire, Shropshire, Stafordshire, Cumbria, West Wales and the Valleys are most likely to see the rise of the machines.
The report stated: 'These regions are relatively dependent on manufacturing for employment, and have a relatively high incidence of low-skilled workers.'
Worldwide 1.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost to robots who can do the same job quicker or for more cost effectively, around 400,000 of those in Europe, a report by Oxford Economics states.
The report also predicted 20 million people will have been replaced by the machines in the work place by 2030.
Despite these figures researchers at De Montfort University in Leicester found that British businesses were struggling to find robot alternatives 'cost effective' due to the cost incurred when implementing them smoothly to the business and co-workers.