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Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Threat, Opportunity, or Both? The Impact of Distinct Employee AI Perceptions on Task Motivation and Decision Compliance
Artificial Intelligence (AI) for decision support is becoming increasingly prevalent among professionals. Yet, while scholars have discussed in length various AI threats and opportunities for employees on their jobs, none have empirically examined the effects of employees’ threat versus opportunity AI perceptions on their decision-making behaviors. We theorize that threat (vs. opportunity) perceptions may protect employees from passively conforming with AI-aids, which may weaken their expertise. We found that HR-professionals, randomly assigned to write examples on how AI may pose a threat (vs. opportunity) to them at work, indicated lower preferences to rely on the AI than to work independently on a work-related task, leading them (especially those high in self-efficacy) to invest more effort in the task and comply less with a fictitious AI-decision. The research provides insights on psychological factors affecting professionals’ active decision-making and independent thinking in human-AI interactions.