More than a quarter of UK workers are worried about AI disrupting their job

Published 21st August 2018 by Charlotte Smith

  • 27% of UK workers are worried that AI will disrupt their role within two years
  • 39% of workers believe that their manager lacks the skill to integrate AI in to the team
  • 34% of workers are confident that they would be retrained by their employer if Artificial Intelligence (AI) were to disrupt their role
  • Less than a quarter (24%) feel that their organisation communicates well when new AI is introduced

The Artificial Intelligence at Work: Perceptions & Attitudes report suggests that men are more concerned than women that AI will disrupt their role within two years (30% of men compared to 25% of women). However, IIP also found that men are duly more confident that their employer would retrain them if AI were to replace their role, at a proportion of 36% to 31%.

Age was also found to be a factor contribution to perceptions of AI.  Just 16% of 18-24 year olds are worried that AI will disrupt their role, compared to 39% of 35-44 year olds. This figure then reverses when it comes to measuring the confidence in an employer’s intention to retrain, with less than a quarter of the UK’s youngest workers feeling confident, compared to 39% of 35-44 year olds.

IIP’s survey also sought to unpick how regionality might influence the level of concern workers feel toward AI and automation. Welsh workers were found to be the least concerned, with just 17% anticipating AI-related disruption to their role, compared to 32% of workers in East Anglia. Employers in London were found to be the best at communicating well when new technology is introduced at work, compared to the West Midlands which was found to be the worst.

The sector feeling most pressure from the perception of coming disruption from AI was Energy & Utilities, where 59% of workers predict some form of AI disruption to their role within two years. Interestingly, the Energy & Utilities sector was also the most likely to feel that their manager lacks the necessary skills to integrate AI into their team (82%).

Of these findings, IIP CEO Paul Devoy said “Our first Artificial Intelligence at Work: Perceptions & Attitudes report has revealed unique insights into how UK workers feel about AI in the workplace. Unsurprisingly, there are channels of concern across certain sectors and regions, however this survey has also revealed a clear national trend. The fact that 27% of workers are worried that AI will disrupt their role within the next two years is a clear signal to employers to manage change effectively. Our survey has given managers the insight necessary to make immediate changes to their internal AI strategy. It is clear that communication is vital in both keeping employees up to date and assuring them that they are valued members of the team, regardless of automation.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

A poll of 500 part-time and 500 full-time workers in the UK was launched in July 2018. Data was captured via an online survey carried out by research organisation One Poll. This data was then used to inform the findings presented in IIP’s Artificial Intelligence at Work: Perceptions and Attitudes 2018 report.

 

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Download the Artificial Intelligence at Work: Perceptions and Attitudes 2018 report here: https://www.investorsinpeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IIP_Artifical-Intelligence_FINAL.pdf

 

 

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