Research by digital identity security specialists, ID Crypt Global, has found that more than 80 per cent of people have no concern that artificial intelligence is going to replace them in the workplace. Thanks to the recent rise of Chat GPT and other rival chatbots, the debate around AI has heated up with people all over the world debating both the good and bad of allowing autonomous technology into our lives, homes, and workplaces.
In a survey of 1,196 UK office workers asked whether or not they have heard of AI, unsurprisingly, 95 per cent said ‘yes’. But when asked whether the use of AI in the workplace is a positive step, opinion is split with 45 per cent saying ‘yes’ and 55 per cent responding ‘no’. Despite this mixed response, people seem to have much more certainty when it comes to whether or not AI poses a threat to their professional livelihood. When asked whether they believe AI will one day make their job role obsolete, a resounding 81 per cent said ‘no’. As a result, 94 per cent state that they are doing nothing to prepare for the eventuality of AI replacing them in the workplace, such as learning new skills or looking for new industries to work in.
If, however, the time does come when lots of people are losing their jobs to AI, 52 per cent believe that their employer and the government share responsibility for re-training them to take on new jobs that AI has not disrupted.
18 per cent say the responsibility should lie only with employers; 16 per cent say it’s the job of government; and 14 per cent say it’s up to each individual to ensure they are future-proofing themselves against the rise of technology.
Overall, opinion is mixed as to whether artificial intelligence is ultimately a good or bad thing for society. When asked whether they believe it’s going to do more harm or good, 47 per cent fall on the side of ‘harm’, 36 per cent say it will be a benefit, and 17 per cent remain unsure either way.
“It’s worrying that so many people remain unconvinced that AI is going to disrupt their lives,” says CEO and founder of ID Crypt Global, Lauren Wilson-Smith. “At this point, it’s clear that AI is going to become a dominant force in society, not least in the workplace.
“There are certain jobs that AI is going to be able to execute to a far higher level than any human can, and do it in a much faster and cheaper way. We live in a capitalist world and industry leaders are not going to be able to resist the benefits of replacing people with machines,” adds Lauren. “The lack of concern demonstrated in these survey results suggest that we need increased awareness about what’s happening. Perhaps the government should be making efforts to educate the population about all the things that are going to change in the next 2-5 years alone. AI’s progress is going to be swift and transformational.
Lauren makes the point that while AI forges ahead, less is being done to help the general population improve their awareness and thus prepare themselves for what’s to come.