Despite perceived employee concerns, US business leaders are moving ahead with adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in the enterprise, according to a Thursday report from Genesys. By 2022, 60% of US company leaders said they expect to be using AI or advanced automation to improve operations, staffing, budgeting, or performance—an increase from the 24% who said they are already doing so.

Of the 303 US employers surveyed, 57% said they were enthusiastic about new workplace tech tools including AI and bots. Some 32% said they believe AI enables companies to achieve goals faster, more effectively, and for less money. Another 25% said they believe AI allows employees to become more productive, and feel more valuable, the survey found.

SEE: Special report: Managing AI and ML in the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

However, 31% of employers said they did not feel that AI would be a practical solution for their type of business. Another 31% said they believed AI would be too complex to implement. This is in line with other research findings, which show a lack of skilled AI talent is a major barrier to adoption.

Overall, 40% of employers reported that there is “no hesitation” within their companies about the need to adopt technologies such as AI, bots, and augmented reality (AR) to improve business efficiencies.

Nearly half (47%) of employers said they believe AI will have a positive impact on their company within the next year, while only 5% said they believed it would have a negative impact, the survey found. More than a quarter (26%) of employers said AI would be necessary for their companies to remain competitive in the future.

Despite this, a disconnect remains between how employers feel and what they believe their employees want, the report found. While 42% of US employers said they believed employees were afraid of AI and bots due to the potential impact on jobs, 67% of employees said in an earlier survey that they were not afraid that AI or bots would steal their jobs in the coming decade.

Some 30% of US employers said they anticipate workforce cuts due to AI adoption, while 53% said they don’t anticipate any major staffing changes, according to the survey.

“The survey results serve as another proof point that businesses win big when they deploy automation and AI-assisted technologies – and so do employees,” said Merijn te Booij, chief marketing officer for Genesys. “Our research shows 61% of employers believe workers are more fulfilled when their workplace adopts AI because it allows them to take on more challenging tasks. When AI moves rote, mundane duties off employees’ plates, they have more time to focus on what they’re best at – work that’s more interesting, diverse and requires more complex problem solving.”

For more, check out How to encourage AI adoption: 3 tips on TechRepublic.

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