Workers say they’re ready to embrace AI, but skills gap is a big concern

by | Jan 12, 2023 | Public Relations

Attitudes towards AI in the workplace are warming up: almost two-thirds of workers in a new survey from intelligent integration and enterprise automation firm SnapLogic report that they like the idea of using AI in their role, either currently or in the future—if they just knew how.

According to the survey of nearly 1,000 mid-senior management workers within large enterprises across the UK, US, and Australia, all respondents showed a good grasp of AI benefits: over half (54 percent) said they thought using AI would save them time; 46 percent said it would improve their productivity, and 37 percent said it would reduce risk and errors in their work.

But respondents believe skills are an issue

One-third (34 percent) of respondents claiming there are very few people within their organization with the skills required to implement and use AI. Four in 10 (39 percent) said it would be hard to get everyone in their organization to fully adopt AI, while 19 percent were worried that they would not be able to work out how to use AI properly.

Respondents also revealed the main factors that would make them more likely to use AI in their role, either now or in the future: 42 percent want a better understanding of how AI would specifically benefit them in their role, while 36 percent want a safety net to reduce the risk that they would make mistakes.

But despite those challenges, most see using AI in their future

An average of 62 percent of respondents said they were likely to use AI in their current role, with a slightly larger amount (66 percent) saying that they would welcome the idea of using AI either currently, or in the future. Seventy percent of US respondents reported that they were currently likely to use AI, which is slightly more than those in the UK (56 percent) but less than Australia (74 percent). This shows a delta of usage, as currently only 21 percent of the global workforce is using AI often, with 23 percent of US and Australian workers representing the high end compared to 18 percent of UK respondents.

And while employee education is globally cited as the largest barrier to adopting AI in the workforce (34 percent of global respondents reported so), US employees are the most welcoming with just 26 percent cautioning that their colleagues do not have the skills required to implement and use AI, compared to 35 percent of Australians and 40 percent of UK respondents.

But lack of AI skills didn’t seem to be a significant detriment to their interest. Only 34 percent of respondents said that lack of AI skills were an issue.

“The current business landscape is unpredictable, and that puts pressure on budgets and resources—and ultimately, on employees,” said Jeremiah Stone, CTO of SnapLogic, in a news release. “Using AI to automate processes and improve productivity relieves this pressure. It’s very encouraging to hear workers say they understand how AI can benefit them in their own role, as enterprises need employee buy-in if they want to make an AI rollout successful.”

Workers say they’re ready to embrace AI, but cite skill and education gaps

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter