Robots have helped IT professionals in several complex work environments. As a result, many employees have developed strong emotional bonds with them. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan and Sungkyunkwan University (South Korea), researchers indicate that these bonds can be detrimental as employees become more attached to the robot than their coworkers. So, what does the study further say about human-robot interaction? This article at CXOtoday.com discusses the research findings.
What Does the Research Indicate About Human-Robot Interaction?
The study was conducted on 88 people that were assigned to 44 teams. Each team consisted of two humans and two robots. The participants answered questions about their performance and connection to their human and robot partners. The study by the University of Michigan and Sungkyunkwan University indicated that a subgroup within the team pairings emerged, and surprisingly, humans connected more with their robot partners. This negatively altered the teamwork quality and performance.
The study also showed that human-robot interaction divided the team into subgroups functioning like two competing teams rather than one coherent team. Although the research highlighted positive outcomes such as higher work engagement and enjoyment, it shed light on the negative repercussions on team relationships and performance.
The Highlights of the Second Study
Lionel Robert, associate professor at the U-M School of Information, and Sangseok You, assistant professor at Sungkyunkwan University, conducted additional research. This study sought recommendations to mitigate the adverse effects of the subgroups while enhancing the work environment. The 112 respondents—from various industries such as hospitals, manufacturing and sales, financial advising, and others—managed the participants that worked directly with robots. They answered questions about the relationships between human co-workers in human-robot teams.
The results revealed that there was a significant improvement in communication among humans. Furthermore, leadership mitigated the effects of subgroups that undermined performance. The respondents interacted in social gatherings, such as sports events and picnics. Additionally, the robots also took coordinated breaks with their human counterparts.
The study underlined that teamwork quality is high when team members deeply connect rather than with robots.
To read the original article, click on https://www.cxotoday.com/ai/employees-emotionally-tied-to-robots-often-undermine-their-co-workers-study/.
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