Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Acknowledgement of Workers in a Robot-Supported Society

Glenda Hannibal, Independent Researcher, Denmark
Søren Schack Andersen, Aarhus University, Denmark

In our paper, we aim to explicate a problematic distinction between a specific task and the individual person performing this task in the workplace. We argue that this distinction distorts our understanding of acknowledgement of work in a near-future society where robots will be introduced into workplaces. Furthermore, the distinction itself provides a problematic premise to be used both in arguments for and against the implementation of robots in the workplace, depending on the interpretation of the distinction. Thus, we aim to illustrate that, given the otherwise paradoxical premise, either one of the interpretations of the distinction must be wrong (or at the very least inapplicable when it comes to robots), or the distinction itself is faulty. In addition, we will illustrate that, in all interpretations of the premise, the implementation of robots in the workplace will have significant implications on the overall acknowledgement of work, and in consequence the social recognition of the individuals who either have to work with the robot or who are replaced by the robot.