Will AI have 'damaging’ effects on workers’ personal lives?

ATHENS, GA — People who regularly use artificial intelligence systems at work are more likely to experience loneliness and insomnia, an international team of researchers has reported.

The researchers conducted separate experiments in four different countries, including the United States, to test whether „frequent interactions with AI could lead employees to feel socially disconnected from others.”

In one experiment, researchers surveyed 166 engineers at a biomedical institute in Taiwan. In another, 126 real estate consultants in Indonesia were divided into two groups, one using AI systems „as much as possible” and the other using none at all. The other two trials involved 214 American workers and nearly 300 employees at a technology company in Malaysia.

Their findings were similar across cultures. Workers who have used AI systems are more likely to help colleagues. Additionally, workers tend to drink more after hours. Also, the researchers cite „longitudinal research” that suggests that lonely people also have more difficulty falling asleep.

„The rapid advancement of AI systems is fueling a new industrial revolution that is reshaping the workplace with many benefits, but also some unknown risks, including mental and physical harm to employees,” said study co-author Pok Man Tang, assistant professor. University of Georgia administration said in a press release from the American Psychological Association. „Humans are social animals, and isolating jobs with AI systems could have spillover effects into employees’ personal lives.”

Mindfulness programs and other positive interventions, such as managers arranging opportunities for employees to socialize, can help reduce loneliness, Tang says.

„AI will continue to expand, so we must act now to minimize the harmful effects on people working with these systems,” Tang said.

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There was study Published online In Journal of Applied Psychology.

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