Although the use of AI continues to grow, its role in the workplace has yet to be solidified, and that’s putting employees on edge.
A study by Qualtrics found that executives were the most likely people to say they were looking forward to the potential impact of AI, with 64% characterizing the technology as exciting. Employees took a dimmer view: Only 39% believe the potential impact of AI is exciting. Instead, they were more likely (49%) to say it’s scary.
“The excitement among executives about AI is not surprising given the promise of more efficiency, but the concerns of employees are also well founded,” said Qualtrics Chief Workplace Psychologist Dr. Benjamin Granger. “Organizational leaders would be wise to remember that at their roots, organizations are simply groups of people and the bigger promise of AI is to help people be happier, healthier and more productive at work – outcomes that benefit everyone.”
Pros and Cons
The most common ways employees believe AI can positively impact the workplace are related to productivity, including automating routine tasks and allowing for faster and more advanced data analysis. Meanwhile, 30% of executives say integrating AI will significantly raise expectations for employee productivity.
At the same time, it’s no wonder that workers are wary of AI. More than two-thirds of employees (68%) believe that some jobs are at risk because of AI, and 23% believe their own jobs may be on the chopping block.
In addition, the biggest concerns workers have about the impact of AI were losing the human element of work and workers losing their critical thinking skills, mentioned by 55% and 52% respectively.
The study also found that nearly 60% of employees say their company either doesn’t have a policy on using AI or they aren’t aware of such a policy.