80% of workers don’t believe AI will replace them

Studies may predict that AI will make some roles obsolete, but workers aren’t losing sleep over it.

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80% of people say they’re not concerned that artificial intelligence will replace them at work, according to a survey.

The survey conducted by ID Crypt Global, which sampled answers from 1,196 UK workers, found that 94% of respondents are doing nothing to prepare for the possibility of AI replacing them in the workplace.

Despite the perception that AI doesn’t pose a risk to their jobs, opinion is divided aboutAI’s overall effect on society. 47% said they think it will be harmful, 36% thought it would be beneficial, and 17% remain unsure.

That said, if the time comes when AI is the top candidate for their jobs, 52% believe that their employer and the government share responsibility for re-training them to take on new jobs that are undisrupted by AI.

A minority (14%), however, believe it should be an individual’s responsibility to ensure they are future-proofing their career against a potential overtake by AI.

Is AI a danger to jobs?

These findings follow Goldman Sach’s landmark AI report which predicts that AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs.

In fact, this has already started to happen. IBM announced that it would freeze hiring for jobs that AI can do, with CEO Arvind Krishna saying he believes 30% of his staff will be replaced by AI in the next five years.

So why is there such a mismatch between what employers and employees predict? On the one hand, it might be because of a misperception over how quickly roles are being fulfilled by automation tools.

According to research released in November 2022 by sociology professor Eric Dahlin at Brigham Young University in the US, “Those who hadn’t lost jobs [to robots] overestimated by about double, and those who had lost jobs overestimated by about three times.”

However, it’s not just a matter of the speed at which automation is overtaking humans. There is also the belief that the choice is binary.

But combining artificial intelligence with a human role is possible and in many cases preferable. Several sectors are already evolving with artificial intelligence used as a tool rather than an employee, because they still require exclusively human skills such as creativity, emotional intelligence and judgement.

Should we start future-proofing our jobs?

Whilst many don’t think AI will take over their 9 to 5, employers would be naive to not face up to the expected rise in demand for AI-related skills.

According to research by Salesforce, only one in ten global workers have in-demand AI skills. It’s estimated that the digital skills gap is costing the UK economy a whopping £12.8bn which means employers will be looking for people who can fulfil these future-forward roles.
Nine in 10 businesses believe they should prioritise digital skills for their employees, however, 58% of knowledge workers have never received digital upskilling from their employer.

The lack of training and mismatch between what employers want and what employees can offer led to 8.5 million vacancies in the first seven months of 2022.

Given the relative lack of training offered in workspaces, it would appear that employees need to start taking matters into their own hands.

Therefore, the answer to the question of whether AI will replace our jobs is more nuanced. It isn’t simply that AI will take over human jobs – it’s that people who are prepared for the AI revolution will be at the top of the hiring list.

Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Startups Writer. Specialising in the Marketing & Finding Customers pillar, she’s always on the lookout for how startups can leverage tools, software, and insights to help solidify their brand, retain clients, and find new areas for growth. Having grown up in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, Fernanda is passionate about how businesses can adapt to new challenges in different economic environments to grow and find creative ways to engage with new and existing customers. With a background in journalism, politics, and international relations, Fernanda has written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to how businesses can retain staff during a recession. She is currently strengthening her journalistic muscle by studying for a part-time multimedia journalism degree from the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ).

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