AI assistants and the phenomenon of “social loafing”.

Researchers are turning chatbots into AI managers who play games like Minecraft, send questions to websites, schedule meetings, create bar charts, and use apps, websites and other online tools, including spreadsheets and calendars. Over time, AI managers could replace office workers, automating almost any white-collar work. These systems will act as personal assistants to employees, performing a wide range of tasks on the Internet.

Is there an end to boring meetings at work, and will employees send robots to them on their behalf? Such an assistant bot will be a virtual workspace tool, and if necessary, it will provide its owner with tips on improving their speaking and presentations. AI assistants are also appearing at schools – Cottesmore School in West Sussex has hired a robot, Abigail Bailey, as its “chief principal”. It will provide advice to students.

According to scientists from the Technical University of Berlin, people working with robots consider them part of their team and work less well if they think that robots will effectively replace them in some work tasks. The researchers suggest that if employees believe that their colleagues – or technology – are performing exceptionally well and that their contribution may not be appropriately recognized, they tend to take a more relaxed approach to their responsibilities. Researchers call this phenomenon “social loafing.”

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