Why robots aren’t ready to manage human workforces (yet)

Pepper, a customer service robot, assists customers at Japanese telecom company Softbank’s retail locations. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg/Getty)Robots are having a moment. The move of driverless cars and drones from sci-fi to reality has unleashed a torrent of bestsellers, blog posts and TED Talks, each pontificating on what it all means. We’re now flooded with prophecies of how machines will take over every facet of human life. Film and television are teeming with critical darlings—Ex Machina, Person of Interest, Humans, even Avengers: Age of Ultron—that ponder the power of artificial intelligence in daily life. BB-8, the spherical (and, it must be said, fictional) hero of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is currently more famous than most Hollywood starlets.Given our current fascination with all things algorithmic, it should come as no surprise that…


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