Artificial Intelligence, or AI as it is most commonly known, is very much the buzzword right now, as astonishing advances are being made in this incredible technology that is going to change the way we live and work in the future. But should we be feeling anxious about the power of AI or should we embrace it and look at all the good things it could do for us all? Even some of the pioneers of this technology are concerned about what AI could mean for the future of the human race, so it does seem prudent to be a little sceptical about how it will all pan out.
Most Employers & Workers Feel Positive About AI
However a recent survey by local employment agency Hays found that most employers and workers in Northern Ireland are positive about what AI can bring to the table. Here are some figures from the survey, as copied from an article on the Belfast Newsletter website:
‘The survey, which received over 8,800 responses from professionals and employers across the UK including 378 respondents in Northern Ireland, found that 56% (55% in NI) of employers think firms should embrace AI in the workplace. A further 36% (35% in NI) of employers are undecided if we should embrace AI, and only 8% (10% in NI) think it should be feared.
‘Workers share a similar sentiment with close to half (49% in UK and NI) saying we should embrace AI in the workplace, and only 13% (16% in NI) saying they think it should be feared.
‘Twenty-one per cent (17% in NI) organisations say they are currently using AI tools such as ChatGPT. The main reason for not utilising AI tools, cited by 25% of respondents (30% in NI) is a lack of awareness or understanding of the benefits.
‘When it comes to staff using AI tools, 66% of employers (71% in NI) intend to allow staff to use AI tools but will monitor usage. Only 3% of employers have banned the use of AI tools but 18% (19% in NI) intend to ban tools like ChatGPT.’
Driving Efficiencies And Freeing Up Talented People
Speaking about the use of AI in the same article, John Moore, managing director of Hays in Northern Ireland, said:
“It’s clear from our research that the sentiment towards using AI within the workplace is largely positive, reflecting the potential it has to make a meaningful difference by driving efficiencies and freeing up talented people to think creatively and concentrate on more interesting, strategically important tasks. While uptake remains low as employers across all sectors get to grips with how AI could benefit their organisations, this will change.
“What’s concerning is the speed at which AI technology is progressing, as over half of employers say they don’t have the right skills within their workforce to make the best use of AI and technology. It’s a huge opportunity for professionals to upskill in getting to know how AI could affect their profession, and how they can utilise AI tools to advance their careers.
“Employers should be on the front foot and investing in training for staff to upskill in AI tools and tech. Being behind the curve in offering upskilling and training for staff will lead to skills gaps worsening and run the risk of not being an attractive organisation for new hires, amongst other factors.”
Whether we are slightly perturbed or not about the advancement of AI it is probably something that we will all have to get to grips with over the coming years.