There are no signs of fear and hatred on the part of the workers

The common theme we have heard across sectors of late is that artificial intelligence is a job killer, accompanied by scary headlines. “AI is going to eliminate many more jobs than anyone thinks,” screamed a headline in Business Insider last August. “AI is replacing human tasks faster than you think,” CNN recently stated. Everywhere there are lists of jobs that AI is replacing or will soon replace, like this stark MSN article: “24 Careers AI Could Take Over: Will Your Job Survive?” “While your job may be secure for now, there is no guarantee that you will be prepared for the future,” the author predicts sadly.

However, it appears that workers did not receive the memo (or stack of memos). In recent surveys, there is little evidence of fear and loathing among workers who could see their jobs change as AI becomes more present on the scene. Most workers, in fact, seem pleased that AI will help them in their goals.

For example, a new Salesforce survey of 6,000 employees reveals that 77% of today’s workforce trusts AI and even wants it to perform nearly half of their work tasks. The top categories of people who are trusted with fully autonomous work tasks include writing code (15% trust), discovering insights from data (13%), writing written communications (12%), and acting as a personal assistant (12%).

Similarly, only five percent of 150,735 workers who responded to a Boston Consulting Group survey expressed fear that AI would eliminate their jobs. On the other hand, 25% did not expect any impact on their jobs and another 49% said AI could change some tasks.

The majority of the 56,600 workers surveyed by PwC also expect a positive impact from AI. At least 31% expect AI to increase their productivity and efficiency, while 21% expect AI to create new job opportunities.

According to Salesforce’s survey, today’s workers already rely on AI to perform approximately 43% of their work tasks. Nearly eight in ten workers, 77%, will at some point rely on AI to operate autonomously. Ten percent even rely on autonomous AI today, while 26% will rely on autonomous AI in less than three years.

Nearly 40% of employees use generative AI tools regularly, the BCG survey found. They are also not afraid of generative AI; most say they will need help understanding what skills to develop.

Trust is the key. Workers want to participate in the process of implementing AI to accomplish tasks. At least 63% are looking to have more say in AI implementation decisions, Salesforce survey shows. The problem is that 54% say they don’t know how AI is implemented or managed in their workplace. Training may be another key to reliable autonomy: 62% of workers say more opportunities for training and skill development would increase their confidence in AI.

Workers currently using generative AI do so for simple activities like research, administration, and translation, according to BCG—“uses that are similar to replacing Google with genAI,” the survey authors note.

Workers who use generative AI are the ones who most frequently leverage it for their core work tasks, not just general administrative work and research, the BCG authors add. “Personal applications of GenAI most often involve finding facts and acquiring general knowledge (40%), developing skills and learning (38%), or translating material from other languages ​​(33%).”

Outside of the workplace, people are using generative AI as a career advancement or job search tool, using it to develop resumes and cover letters, for example.

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