robot Workers say robots arebetter at providing unbiased information, maintaining workschedules, problem solving and managing a budget.

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Move over Michael Scott; workers are actually starting to trustthat J.A.R.V.I.S. and maybe even C-3PO could lead The Office betterthan you. But probably not the malevolent HAL…

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That's the gist of Oracle & Future Workplace's AI@Work Study2019, "From Fear to Enthusiasm." For the report, more than8,300 HR leaders, managers and workers in 10 countries weresurveyed to learn their attitudes toward and behaviors regardingartificial intelligence.

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Related: Navigating the use of artificial intelligence forHR functions

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There's been quite a shift in feelings as more companiesimplement robotics, automation and other AI technologies. Thesedays, 64 percent of respondents say they would trust a robot morethan their manager and half have turned to a robot instead of theirmanager for advice. Moreover, the vast majority (82 percent) thinkrobots can do a lot of things better than their managers.

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When asked for specifics, respondents say robots are better atproviding unbiased information (26 percent), maintaining workschedules (34 percent), problem solving (29 percent) and managing abudget (26 percent).

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Overall, the majority (65 percent) of workers are optimistic,excited and grateful about having robot co-workers and nearly aquarter report "having a loving and gratifying relationship."

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But don't fire all the human managers just yet: when asked whatmanagers can do better than robots, workers say the top three tasksare understanding their feelings (45 percent), coaching them (33percent) and creating a work culture (29 percent).

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"These differences have important implications for howorganizations can get the most value from line managers, as well ashow they can best attract, retain and develop talent," the authorswrite. "For instance, managers who let AI handle moreadministration-related coordination and control tasks may free uptime, mental bandwidth and energy to interact more directly withtheir employees."

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However, concerns about the complexity of AI technology, as wellas data security and privacy, present the biggest obstacles toincreased adoption of the technology, according to the survey. Themajority (71 percent) of respondents say security concerns prevent them from using AI atwork.

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"Worries about complexity as well as data security and privacycould be barriers to AI adoption in the workplace," the authorswrite. "To get the most from AI and machine learning technology,companies must explain how they are using AI ethically as well asoffer solutions to address security and privacy concerns.

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It's worth the effort, they add, as the use of AI solutions willenable companies to innovate more and create new markets, makingthem more competitive.

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"Your employees are ready to embrace AI," the authors conclude."Are you moving fast enough to capitalize on the next wave ofadoption?"

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.