A recent survey conducted in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the US has shed light on the potential effects of using artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace. The study, led by Pok Man Tang, an assistant professor of management at the University of Georgia, suggests that employees who frequently interact with AI systems may experience increased feelings of loneliness, trouble sleeping, and even higher alcohol consumption after work. These findings highlight the need to address the potential mental and physical impacts of AI in the workplace.
According to Tang, the rapid advancement of AI systems is revolutionizing industries, offering numerous benefits but also posing uncharted dangers for employees. The researchers conducted experiments with various groups of workers to gather insights into their experiences. For instance, a survey involving 166 engineers from a Taiwanese biomedical company revealed that those who interacted more frequently with AI systems reported higher levels of loneliness, insomnia, and increased alcohol consumption after work. However, they also displayed some helping behaviors towards their colleagues.
Similar results were observed in other experiments, including a survey of 126 real estate consultants in an Indonesian property management company and online experiments with 214 working adults in the US and 294 tech company workers in Malaysia. The researchers noted that individuals who heavily relied on AI systems for work were more likely to exhibit increased affiliation and helpfulness towards their coworkers due to their heightened sense of loneliness.
Tang emphasizes that humans are social beings, and isolating work with AI systems can have adverse effects on employees’ personal lives. It is crucial to address these issues to ensure the overall well-being of individuals in the workplace. The study, conducted in collaboration with researchers from the National University of Singapore, Cardiff University, National Sun Yat-sen University, Texas A&M University, and Nanyang Business School, was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology on June 12. – dpa
13 June 2023