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How worried are people about AI? A survey reports

The modern workplace has already embraced advanced technology with smart devices, paperless workplaces, cloud services and wearable tech that tracks employee productivity – in fact, much of this tech is already old news when it comes to the average workday. Research collected  by flexible workspace specialist Instant Offices shows office workers believe tech integration improves working conditions, efficiency and communication with co-workers.

A recent survey conducted by Adobe of full and part-time professionals from the US, UK and India found 68% aren’t worried about the growth of AI in the workplace as they feel their roles will still need human abilities that technology can’t replicate. In fact, most employees are actually looking forward to AI assisting them more around the office.

Industries Embracing AI

According to the TCS Global trend study, by 2020, almost a third of companies believe AI’s greatest impact will be in sales, marketing or customer service. Furthermore, 20% of companies surveyed felt it would be in non-customer facing functions including finance, strategic planning, HR and corporate development.

According to a report by Indeed, these are the top five tasks people are most comfortable with being automated:

  1. Job search assistance, 35%
  2. News reporting, 33%
  3. Healthcare support, 25%
  4. Finance management, 24%
  5. Driving vehicles, 23%

Investment in AI tech across all sectors has grown significantly in the past few years, up from $282 million in 2011 to $2.4 billion in 2015. As of 2016, this amount rose by another $1.5 billion invested in more than 200 AI-focussed companies.

The Global Trend Survey of Artificial Intelligence surveyed the use of AI in 13 industries and found insurance, consumer packaged goods, and high tech outspent others.

  • Automotive – 90% of automotive participants say they use AI today, with an additional 10% saying they plan to incorporate AI by 2020.
  • Banking and Finances – According to the survey, most businesses in this sector made use of AI to deter security breaches.
  • Consumer Packaged Goods – According to the survey, consumer packaged goods companies spent the most on AI in 2015, gaining 12% in revenue and 12% cost savings.
  • Energy – In the energy sector, employee training is key to AI project success. Energy companies are using AI to improve current business processes.
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences – About 86% of participants in this sector make use of cognitive technologies, with two companies spending more than $100 million on AI in a year.

Future of AI in the Workplace

According to Gartner, while AI might destroy 1.8 million jobs, it is expected to create a total of 2.3 million jobs, and in the long term, even more jobs will be created and enhanced by technology.

John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices gives his thoughts on what the future of AI in the workplace beholds, 

“Following our research, we can see the benefits of AI for business-owners include improved recruitment processes, increased productivity, lowered costs and better monitoring of workflow, as well as a better understanding of employees and how they engage with office space, teamwork, tasks, meetings and more.

“Not only that, it is equally beneficial for employees, as  it is clear to see that tech can improve safety at work, increase their happiness and wellbeing, provide impartial and valuable feedback on performance and provide learning opportunities, among other things.”

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