Could a rising robot workforce make humans less prejudiced?

Using survey data, this study by Joshua Jackson, Noah Castelo and Kurt Gray found that whilst countries facing the fastest automation experience high levels of prejudice towards outgroups, the risk of robotisation might reduce prejudice by building ‘panhuman’ solidarity.

The authors attribute this to different conceptualisations. Where automation is experienced as an abstract technological phenomena causing gradual unemployment through non-replacement, there is increased prejudice due to increased job competition with no obvious cause.

Where the conceptualisation is a concrete risk involving the substitution of human labour for robotic, there is more potential for a ‘panhuman’ solidarity between those affected, regardless of social, religious, or ethnic differences.

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Politics and perceptions of automation risk

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