HUMAN workers prefer to take orders from robots than their colleagues, researchers have found.

Researchers were stunned to find that in a series of management experiments, human workers were actually more content when a robot was in charge.

The research from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab suggests that in the future, robots should be given more control.

“We were seeking to find that sweet spot for ensuring that the human workforce is satisfied and productive,” project leader Matthew Gombolay said. “We discovered the answer is to give machines more autonomy, if it helps people to work together more fluently with robot teammates.”

Specifically, groups of two humans and one robot worked together in one of three conditions: manual (all tasks allocated by a human); fully autonomous (all tasks allocated by the robot); and semi-autonomous (one human allocates tasks to self, and a robot allocates tasks to other human).

The fully autonomous condition proved to be not only the most effective for the task, but the method preferred by humans. The workers were more likely to say that the robots “better understood them” and “improved the efficiency of the team”.

Gombolay emphasises that this does not mean cyborgs will be running the show. It means tasks are delegated, scheduled, and co-ordinated via a human-generated algorithm. – Daily Mail