While employees see AI as an opportunity, they still have fears regarding transparency around the technology.
Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
- Around four out of five employees globally say AI could improve their jobs. -- The Workplace Institute, 2018.
- Employees are most likely to accept AI in the workplace when it simplifies time-consuming processes, better balances their workload, or helps make more fair decisions. -- The Workplace Institute, 2018.
A little more than four out of five workers (82%) say AI could make their jobs more empowering and engaging, the report said. The findings suggest worker buy-in is in increasing, potentially allowing the workforce to be more accepting of new technologies used in digital transformation efforts.
The survey looked at nearly 3,000 employees from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the US. Respondents from all eight countries said they would accept AI in the workplace for a few reasons: Simplifying time-consuming processes (64% of respondents), balancing their workload (64%), increasing fairness (62%), and helping managers make better decisions (57%).
SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)
Employees in Mexico, Canada, and the US are most enthusiastic about AI in the workplace, the report found, while the least excited are in France and Germany. The finding suggests international companies may need to approach digital transformation pitches in different ways for different countries.
While the majority are excited about AI, many are also apprehensive about the technology. One-third were concerned their job would eventually be replaced by AI. A little under two-thirds of employees say they'd be more comfortable if managers and executives would be more transparent about AI's future at their company, the report said. The US was labeled the most secretive country.
Mexican companies were the least secretive, with 67% of employees saying their company had discussed its AI plans with them. The findings suggest that when a company is clear about AI's future, it could make employees more excited.
There is also a generational divide, with 88% of Gen Z (ages 18-20) thinking AI could improve their job in some way, while that number drops to 70% for Baby Boomers (ages 55 and older). Companies may need to look at which generation the majority of their workplace falls under and adjust their pitch accordingly. Younger staff members may need less convincing than older ones.
- Special report: How to implement AI and machine learning (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Employees worldwide show 'cautious optimism' about artificial intelligence (ZDNet)
- Quick glossary: Artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)
- Citizen AI: A business guide to raising artificial intelligence in a digital economy (ZDNet)
- Special report: IT jobs in 2020: A leader's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Humans and machines will work together, sooner than later (CNET)