The cyborg effect: robots enhancing - rather than depleting - workforces, according to global talent expert

May 01, 2019

The cyborg effect: robots enhancing - rather than depleting - workforces, according to global talent expert

As Walmart increases its reliance on robots to free up resources, Alexander Mann Solutions has suggested that - contrary to the popular rhetoric that robots are replacing people in the workplace - human employees are actually being enhanced by technology. 

According to the leading global talent acquisition and management firm, this ‘cyborg effect’ – where both organic and biomechatronic elements combine – is facilitating the creation of human employees who can operate at maximum efficiency. However, the organization warns that robots should not be viewed as stand-alone employees. 

Andrew Wayland, Chief Technology Officer at Alexander Mann Solutions, explains:

“While the personification of robots may suggest that these machines are independent entities, in reality, the rise of automation, bots and AI is simply augmenting the roles of people in the workplace. Robots aren’t becoming human. In essence, people are becoming cyborged.

“As Leslie Wilcocks (Professor of Work, Technology and Globalisation in the Department of Management at the London School of Economics) and Mary Lacity (Professor of Information Systems and an International Business Fellow at the University of Missouri-St. Louis), revealed in their research on the impact of Robotic Process Automation; “Far from depleting workforces, humans and robots are most effective when working together.” The most critical point in this sentence is, of course, the last word – together.

Treating bots and humans as completely separate entities in the workforce is unfeasible. While we may give robots names, the suggestion that an entire person can be replaced with a machines is unrealistic. People are wonderfully complex and they can’t be sliced and diced. Instead, we must explore how robots can fill in the gaps.   

“We must move the dial and look at how technology can be deployed to enhance our people in what they do – allowing bots to remove mundane and boring tasks so that the capabilities of our talent can be amplified.”