EU-Japan.AI Survey Results

Following investigations into the potential ways of engaging with the society stakeholder group in both Japan and the EU, it was decided that access to similar groups in both areas was not feasible. Civil society in Japan is very weak and fragmented and even trade unions are very different to those in Europe (in Japan they are primarily single-company unions with close ties to company management rather than the cross-company sectoral unions dominant in most European Countries). Investigations into the societal considerations of the impact of AI in Manufacturing on workers identified a distinct lack of data available on the knowledge and attitudes of this group in the empirical literature, both academic and business.

While there have been many surveys of senior management and finance people in manufacturing about the potential benefits and barriers to adoption of AI, only one or two surveys considered the role non-managerial workers play in using these technologies, or of the potential impact on their employment. The academic economics literature does have significant discussion of the potential impact on employment and economies, but these are primarily theoretical economic modelling and discussion of potential solutions to economic and social issues, such as shorter working weeks, Universal Basic Income, or machine-worker taxation. A multi-country multi-lingual survey was thus developed for deployment in each of the consortium partner countries combined with some targets of linguistic opportunity.

Manufacturing Workers Attitudes to AI: Survey results and comparisons between EU & Japan – Main objective of the survey was to begin to fill in the gap in the empirical literature by conducting a multi-country survey on knowledge about and attitudes towards AI in manufacturing, and the potential consequences on their jobs and careers, of non-managerial workers. (Likert scale questions with answers “very strongly disagree”, “strongly disagree”, “disagree”, “agree”, “strongly agree”, “very strongly agree”, and “no opinion”.). Additionaly, a promotional survey brochure has been produced, which you can download here.

  • AI technology is already important in my workplace.
  • AI technology will become important, or increase in importance, in my workplace over the next four years.
  • I understand how AI technology can be used in the kind of work I do.
  • I have experience with the use of AI related to my job.
  • AI technology can improve the quality of the work I do.
  • AI technology could help me to become a more productive worker.
  • AI technology could help my workplace become more inclusive.
  • AI technology could replace a large part or all of the job I currently do.
  • The introduction of AI technology will help me to keep my job.
  • If AI technology replaces part or all of my current job, my employer will retrain me, and anyone else doing similar jobs, into other work with similar pay and conditions.
  • If AI technology replaces part or all of my current job, my employer will make some or all of the people doing these jobs redundant.
  • I will find it easy to get a replacement job with similar pay and conditions if I am made redundant.
  • AI will create more jobs than it will eliminate.
  • I would move to a new job in order to work with up to date manufacturing technology.
  • My employer has provided me with adequate training to use new manufacturing technology.
  • It is important that humans have final control when AI technology is used in manufacturing.
  • Companies should pay equivalent taxes for AI/robotic workers if they reduce their human workforce.
  • I understand the idea of a Universal Basic Income system.
  • I support the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) or similar system.



Author: Coordinator, MINDS & SPARKS GmbH