Fear of Becoming Obsolete (FOBO)


Didn’t realise that FOBO (Fear Of Becoming Obsolete) , but thanks to this Gallop News poll I do now.

The article confidently highlights the fears of U.S. workers of becoming obsolete due to AI are increasing (up from 15% to 22%).

The ‘findings’ go on to break down the fears amongst age groups (younger people are more worried) and household income (lower salary earners are more worried).

No breakdown based on what work they do eg knowledge worker versus plumber though.

I was intrigued as to method for the survey, and it turns out (PDF) that:

  • it was a random sample of 1,014 people across the entire US
  • by phone
  • with weightings in place to handle unequal sampling probabilities

I’m sure that the survey is conducted in a legit way that manages for errors… but seriously, who answers their phone to an unknown number these days?

Surely that’s a distinct segment of the population right there – people who answer unknown numbers. I’m not sure how that could be representative.

The most surprising thing to me wasn’t that 22% are worried, my surprise is why the other 78% of the respondents aren’t worried.

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By Craig Bailey