AI Reshaping – A Double-Edged Sword

AI Reshaping – A Double-Edged Sword

Over three-quarters of knowledge workers across the world are now using generative AI assistants at work, but experts warn that successfully integrating AI into the workplace will require a delicate balance

 

The rapid rise of generative AI (GAI) tools like ChatGPT has sent shockwaves through the modern workplace. According to a new report from LinkedIn, 75% of knowledge workers across the world are now using these AI assistants at work, with adoption doubling over just the past six months.

LinkedIn’s findings are further corroborated in a recent survey by Salesforce on generative AI use among the general population within the US, UK, Australia, and India. The survey found the public is split between users and non-users. Within each country, the online populations surveyed reported the below usage (please note that cultural bias may impact results):

  • 73% of the Indian population surveyed is using generative AI.
  • 49% of the Australian population surveyed is using generative AI.
  • 45% of the US population surveyed is using generative AI.
  • 29% of the UK population surveyed is using generative AI.

Companies lag, as workers embrace AI

However, the LinkedIn report also highlights a concerning gap emerging between employees and business leaders on AI adoption. While workers are quickly embracing these new productivity-boosting tools, many companies are lagging. Nearly half of US executives are not currently investing in AI tools for their employees, citing uncertainty around budgets, measurement, and implementation.

“There is a real procrastination penalty that comes into play,” warns Karin Kimbrough, Chief Economist at LinkedIn. “With so few business leaders devoting resources to reskill and upskill their talent around the latest AI tools, professionals are often forced to bring their own tools to work out of necessity.”

This divide is particularly worrying as AI skills become an increasingly essential part of the modern job market. According to LinkedIn data, hiring of technical AI talent has increased 323% over the past eight years, while the number of companies with a Head of AI position has tripled in the past five years.

AI Superusers

Notably, the Salesforce research uncovered AI users are “super-users” – meaning the majority of them use the technology frequently and believe they are well on their way to mastering it.

 

  • 65% of generative AI users are Millennials or Gen Z, and 72% are employed.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 users believe they are on their way to mastering the technology.
  • 70% of Gen Z report using the technology and 52% of them trust the technology to help them make informed decisions.
  • 52% say they use generative AI more now than when they first started.

Not just nice-to-have, but essential

“AI aptitude is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’ for professionals – it’sbecoming a requirement to stay competitive,” says Kimbrough. “We’re seeing a 142x increase globally in members adding AI skills to their profiles, and it’s not just tech workers leading the way. Creative roles like content writers and marketing managers are some of the occupations with the highest shares of members upskilling their AI abilities.”

This rapid adoption is backed by promising early results. According to the report, 92% of power users say GAI tools make their workload more manageable, boost their creativity, and help them focus on the most important tasks.

However, experts warn that successfully integrating AI into the workplace will require a delicate balance. “Business leaders face a real challenge in leveraging AI to drive transformation and growth, while also ensuring their workforce has the skills and support needed to thrive,” says Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, author and AI pioneer.

Lee emphasises the importance of a “skills-first, human-centric, learning-led approach” to AI implementation. “Companies that embrace continuous upskilling and create a culture of AI-human collaboration will be best positioned to unlock the full potential of this technology.”

With AI’s impact only set to grow, getting this balance right will be crucial for both individual professionals and the future of the modern workplace.

New security risks

Nevertheless, the Salesforce survey found that many workers lack the knowledge of how to responsibly utilise generative AI. According to the survey, 54% of workers are concerned about the accuracy of generative AI outputs, and 59% worry about potential biases. Additionally, 73% of respondents believe that generative AI introduces new security risks.

Furthermore, nearly 60% of those who plan to use generative AI admitted that they are uncertain about using trusted data sources and ensuring the security of sensitive data. Business leaders also seem to overestimate their proficiency in using generative AI responsibly. Although 83% of C-suite leaders claimed know-how of generative AI use without breaching data security, just 29% of individual contributors agreed.

It is evident that there is a gap in companies when it comes to effectively adopting and using generative AI. However, the data provides some valuable insights. Employees identified four key elements for successfully using generative AI in their roles: human oversight (60%), enhanced security measures (59%), trusted customer data (58%), and ethical use guidelines (58%).

Acknowledgement:

  • linkedin.com
  • salesforce.com

 

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