NZ report finds AI could one day help Kiwis work less but get paid the same

A University of Otago report has uncovered that working less and getting paid the same could one day be possible with the help of artificial intelligence. 

Auckland based company Soul-Machines works with businesses around NZ and abroad to build new technology into the workplace.

"There is so much exponential change coming from the world of artificial intelligence it is going to change the economics and the business models of most industries over the next 10 years," Soul-Machines Chief Business Officer Greg Cross said. 

However, an Otago University report is posing the big picture question.. is New Zealand ready for the shift?

"We think it's going to become much more common and much more ubiquitous over the coming years and New Zealand needs to think about how it will adapt," report co-author Professor James Maclaurin told Newshub. 

He added that if designed well, AI can help both workers and employers. 

Researchers also wonder if your AI colleague picks up a good chunk of your workload, could you end up being paid for five days but working only four?

"It might take us a while to do it, and we'd have to work out how to do it, but it would be a real benefit," Maclaurin said. 

Many Kiwis agree with one person telling Newshub: "There's no point slaving away five days a week if you don't need to."

Another person said: "I think it's going to increase the productivity of the job that people do."

However, the report warned there was still uncertainty about whether the tech could take over jobs completely. 

"Sometimes it takes on the low-value tasks and it makes the job more valuable for the humans who do it, sometimes it takes on the high-value jobs which means that the humans get displaced into lower-value work," Maclaurin said. 

But not everyone is convinced about our robotic future as one person told Newshub: "We're still going to need humans."

But we might not need to work as hard.