Over half of the workforce is ready for AI says Genesys

More than half (57%) of UK companies are confident their staff is prepared for an artificial intelligence (AI) enabled workspace according to new research by Genesys. Workers are in agreement with 46% saying they are ready to work with the technology as found by previous research from Genesys.

The research revealed that over half of employers (55%) think their employees are anxious that their jobs will be eliminated by AI. However, employers believe this fear is unfounded with only 11% saying AI will actually put jobs at risk. In fact, 51% of UK based companies don’t anticipate any major staffing changes as a result of AI, despite recent headlines that portraying it as a threat to jobs.

An earlier survey of UK employees by Genesys found that the majority of UK workers believe their jobs are safe, with 64% saying they aren’t worried about being replaced by AI. Those engaged in manufacturing roles feel significantly more at risk than those working in other areas such as administration, human resources, healthcare, education and transportation.

The vast majority of companies (68%) believe their workforces are excited by the prospect of working with AI because they feel the technology will enhance their roles. When asked about the impact AI has on the way people work, 62% of employers believe people are more fulfilled because they are working on more challenging tasks. In addition, more than a quarter (26%) believe it allows staff to become more productive and feel more valuable.

Employees are in agreement, with 64% saying new technologies like AI makes them more effective and, allows them to focus on more challenging aspects of their roles.

While there is alignment between businesses and their workers over readiness for an AI-enabled workplace, the survey uncovered strong opinions about training. Genesys found that 58% of companies believe direct managers should be responsible for overseeing the development of the necessary skills to work effectively with AI.

The majority (86%) of workers believe their employers should be responsible for providing training and 43% of businesses plan to increase their training budget to do just this. Many companies are hopeful that in the long-term the investment will pay-off as a third of companies believe that automated training will enable them to reduce budgets and save money.

How companies expect to deliver training:

•72% of UK companies would use smartphone applications to modernise their internal training processes
•56% of businesses would consider automated training powered by AI/bots
o35% of workers would prefer to be trained this way
•56% would consider training with augmented reality or virtual reality
o53% of workers would prefer to be trained this way
•46% would consider training using a human-like robot powered by AI
o35% of employees would prefer to be trained this way

“It’s great to see companies and workers across the UK recognise the value AI can bring to the workplace,” said Mark Armstrong, vice president for UK and Ireland for Genesys. “It is likely that some jobs will evolve as AI’s use increases. Forward thinking businesses are proactively helping their teams get comfortable with the future by explaining what AI will mean to them on a day-to-day basis, how it will help them and how it may impact their roles.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine