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Survey says! Here’s what workers think about AI right now

Jill Barthhttps://hrexecutive.com/
Jill Barth is HR Tech Editor of Human Resource Executive. She is an award-winning journalist with bylines in Forbes, USA Today and other international publications. With a background in communications, media, B2B ecommerce and the workplace, she also served as a consultant with Gallagher Benefit Services for nearly a decade. Reach out at [email protected].

Lately, it sometimes feels like it is AI all the time in the HR tech world, and recent news from the White House signals how important this topic is to both industry and government leaders.

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Cliff Jurkiewicz, vice president of global strategy at HR technology company Phenom, says that “human-in-the-loop” is the foundation of the executive order recently signed by President Biden.

If you aren’t up to speed on everything the order entails, the document calls for standards that govern responsible AI development, promote individual privacy, prevent bias in AI applications, consider safeguards and more. There’s a lot packed into this order, but in this week’s HR Tech Check, we look at what lies at the heart of this effort: the human side of AI interactions.

Let’s gain insight into how humans are receiving AI tech at work by checking out several recent surveys.

AI should be powerful but simple to use

According to a UKG and Workplace Intelligence survey of more than 4,000 employees in 10 countries, nearly 90% wished workplace software interfaces were as simple as using their favorite navigation app.

When asked about the likelihood of embracing the use of artificial intelligence at work, over 85% said they would adopt the tech to help them balance their workload. Other positively received use cases include completing more work during a shift, automating time-consuming processes and helping the company improve profitability.

AI should make life easier, but stay out of evaluations

(Image: Adobe)

Another survey, this one from Qualtrics XM Institute, reveals that workers would accept AI if they sensed they had control over it. Top Employee Trends for 2024, which included responses from 37,000 employees across 32 countries, showed that employees are least comfortable with AI evaluating their work in situations such as performance management or hiring decisions.

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As in the UKG/Workplace Intelligence research, people are more willing to rely on AI to make their job easier—61% of employees said they would use AI to write tasks, and just over half would take advantage of a personal assistant tool.

AI can be leveraged for employees with disabilities

According to Capterra’s 2023 Tech Accessibility survey of nearly 250 employees with a disability, 77% said that software advanced by artificial intelligence would help them be more productive at work.

Key use cases indicated by the report include predictive text in messages, real-time visualizations of data and recommendations for next actions.

To realize tech ROI, build trust first

An Accenture study of 2,425 C-suite executives in 13 countries recently showed that 94% plan to increase technology spending in 2024, with 74% focusing directly on data and AI.

Tying back to the Qualtrics study, the organization’s chief workplace psychologist, Dr. Benjamin Granger, urges leadership to communicate the “individual benefits of AI” when introducing new tech in the workplace. He says that employees who are engaged and trust their employers are more likely to adopt AI.

Prioritize the quality of data when navigating AI

The Adecco Group brought together execs from Bank of America, Microsoft and Avanade on a webinar to discuss navigating AI, drawing insights from its Global Workforce of the Future report—a survey conducted among 30,000 employees across 23 countries. The report unveiled that 70% of workers already incorporate AI into their jobs.

During the event, Josh Bronstein, head of global talent at Bank of America, emphasized that, while the possibilities of AI in the workplace are exciting, the key to its effectiveness is reliable data. Bronstein stated, “We must prioritize the quality of the data, the protection of the data, and the processes and control of the data.”