Artificial intelligence would harm quality of life at work, study finds

Artificial intelligence would harm quality of life at work, study finds

The real effects of artificial intelligence on employment are still difficult to assess, which does not prevent some from speculating on the benefits that employees and managers will derive from the use of this new technology. But this progress would come at the expense of the well-being of labor market participants, according to a recent study.

This research was carried out by the think tank Institute for the Future of Work among 5,000 British workers. Most respondents regularly use information and communication technologies (ICT) at work, whether computers, smartphones, connected objects or artificial intelligence software.

When AI intensifies the workload

One might expect that these digital tools would make their daily professional lives easier, which is the case to a certain extent. ICT can make work easier, but it also helps to intensify it. They can therefore expose executives and employees who use them intensively to psychological risks linked to stress, hyperconnectivity and excess mental load.

But the authors of the study from the Institute for the Future of Work found that certain ICTs contribute more to employee unhappiness than others. Thus, computers, smartphones and professional instant messaging would promote the well-being of workers who use them frequently. Conversely, newer technologies such as connected objects, robotics and artificial intelligence software would make it worse. The more we use them, the more they affect the quality of life at work.

Although researchers from the Institute for the Future of Work have not investigated the causes of this phenomenon, they note that their conclusions are consistent with those of previous studies on the impact of ICT on the quality of life at work. . The latter showed that “these technologies can exacerbate job insecurity, intensification of workload, routinization and loss of meaning of work, as well as disempowerment and loss of autonomy”. So many elements that can harm the well-being of employees.

Well-being at work also depends on its environment

Despite this, the authors of this research argue that ICT is not a problem in itself. “We don’t want to pretend that there is some kind of determinism in the effects of technology on well-being. We say that it really depends on the context: you have to take into account many structural factors, environmental conditions, “How technology is designed and deployed. So these are a lot of human decisions,” Dr Magdalena Soffia, lead author of the study, told the Guardian.

This is why it is essential that companies wishing to integrate artificial intelligence into their internal operations demonstrate more transparency with their teams. They must guide them and meet their training needs so that they do not feel threatened by the arrival of this new technology in their daily professional lives.