New survey reveals Kiwis feel okay about working alongside robots

New Zealanders are warming up to the idea that our colleagues, in the not too distant future, could have a few more "moving components".

Most in a new survey by TradeMe say they're comfortable working alongside robots.

Saudi Arabia recently became the first country to give a robot citizenship. She's called Sophia, and it appears many New Zealanders would be happy to call her a workmate.

"The question of whether or not we'll be working with robots - in some sense we already are - whether or not we're going to be working with the humanoid thing that are really like you and me, surveys of computer scientists say maybe in the next 50 years," Professor James Maclauren, Otago University's Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Public Policy Co-Director, told Newshub.

Two-thirds of us say we're okay with working with robot colleagues.

When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), three-quarters say it'll change their jobs and just over 40 percent believe AI will replace some of their work in the very near future.

"The tasks within these jobs are going to change, and they're probably going to change quite rapidly - so there's a real need for New Zealanders to start thinking about the skills they're going to need in the future," AI Forum Executive Director Ben Reid said.

But the AI Forum's Ben Reid says robots won't take all the jobs.

"I think there's increasing research that we're seeing that actually the number of jobs that will be created by these new automation technologies will continue to increase, and so there will be more jobs in the future, not less," Mr Reid said.

And Professor Maclauren says some jobs are safer than others.

"Middle-income jobs are becoming a bit less common; high-income, abstract jobs are becoming a bit more common and low-income jobs - nurse aiding, teacher aiding, selling coffees to one another - those jobs are becoming more common too," he said.

And the AI Forum is confident artificial intelligence will be a step forward, as it will take over many menial tasks that human aren't interested in.