A growing number of studies in disciplines ranging from neuroscience to economics have put forth the crucial role of the social context on workers’ motivation coining the term of “social rewards” or “social incentives”. This emerging consensus comes at a time when the growing automation of the workplace is reshaping the work social context. We thus ask whether social incentives such as peer pressure, social comparisons or relatedness can continue to effectively spur human workers’ motivation in the age of AI. Which machines, if any, can induce social incentives? To answer this question, we will make use of experiments in which we will control for the degree of interaction and automation in a virtual workplace.
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