Hyperscience’s second annual automation pulse report reveals insights on the shifting sentiments and understanding around automation, how it’s used, and how it’s perceived by the U.S. workforce.
This year, 65% of consumers believe that the adoption of automation in the workplace is a good idea, a 5% increase year-over-year, highlighting how employers are doing a better job at explaining its value, as well as how the technology will impact the employee experience.
But even with this modest gain, there remains a lack of understanding (or even general misconceptions) about what automation is. Responses ranged from indicating that automation is a robot that can do human things (18%) all the way to technology existing solely to replace people (14%)—signaling the need for continued education and awareness across the workforce.
The report also asked respondents to identify the most important aspects to consider regarding automation, whether it was the company, the employee, or the customer. The 2022 findings revealed that customers want their voices heard and problems solved. If they can be positively impacted, they’ll advocate for technological transformations. There was a 21% increase year-over-year in respondents stating the customer is the most important aspect to consider, a change from 2021, when consumers leaned more strongly towards the employee.
New to the report this year, Hyperscience gauged consumers’ perspectives on the considerations companies must embrace when adopting automation technology. 58% of consumers believed it’s important to take a human-centered approach to ensure employees and technology augment each other. Similarly, 56% of employees believe automation technology should be adopted only if it allows humans to move into more meaningful roles. Lastly, 40% of respondents believe companies must promote the ethical use of AI and ensure the technology is socially beneficial, fair, safe, and inclusive. This greater emphasis on a sustainable, human-centered approach and an ethical commitment is a positive sign for the future.
Download the infographic for more insights:
A Look Ahead
Organizations continue to prioritize ways to apply automation, aimed at achieving the resilience and agility required to advance in today’s fast-paced, digital world. However, until recently, approaches to automation failed to unlock human potential, and therefore failed to accelerate digital transformation when and where it’s needed most.
This problem is two-fold. First, deficient or non-existent education and change management perpetuate the negative perception of automation as a replacer instead of an augmenter, impeding wider adoption. Second, legacy rules-based automation lacks the flexibility and intelligence needed to yield scalable efficiency. This short-term solution creates long-term consequences. Collectively, businesses must do a better job of implementing automation solutions that augment employees’ abilities. This will combat the idea that the sole purpose of automation is to replicate or replace skilled workers.
As organizations face labor shortages, resource constraints, and heightened customer and citizen expectations, it can no longer be ignored that humans need help. To break the cycle, industries must take an approach to automation that truly combines human and artificial intelligence.
Hyperscience surveyed 1,000 people 18+ in the U.S. with Dynata, a Data and Survey Insights Platform.