Computer says go: Taking orders from an AI boss

Will your future boss be a computer?

If your first thought upon reading that sentence was “well it would be an improvement on my current human one,” you wouldn’t be alone.

After all, an artificial intelligence (AI) software system might be better able to organise the staff rota without messing up your holidays.

And getting some unbiased feedback from a line manager who can’t be accused of having it in for you or of favouring other staff could make a pleasant change.

However, for those of us who have seen the Terminator movies rather too often, the thought of a computer, or robot, bossing you around is also bound to raise fears that the machines are in danger of taking over.

Yet this ignores the fact that we already spend a lot of time obeying machines, and we don’t even think about it, let alone worry.

Jeff Schwartz, a senior partner at business consulting and audit firm Deloitte, and a global adviser on the future of work, points to a simple everyday machine that we all obey unthinkingly.

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