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Half of Workers Conceal AI Use to Not Seem Replaceable

AI usage in the workplace is steadily growing, but employees tend to hide it afraid of being replaced in their roles by technology solutions, shows a fresh report.

Half of Workers Conceal AI Use to Not Seem Replaceable

Microsoft and LinkedIn released their Annual Work Trend Index this Wednesday. It revealed the effects of artificial intelligence (AI) on the labour market. The results showed that a great number of employees are using AI tools for many work tasks. However, they do it discreetly because of fears their positions might be replaced with ‘smart’ automated solutions.

The two companies surveyed 31,000 people across 31 countries including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, India, Singapore, Australia and Brazil for their research.

The study discovered that 75% of workers are using AI in the workplace, illustrating an all-time high level of this nascent technology use for job-related assignments. However, concerns about the tech tools replacing jobs are still very pressing. Thus, over half of respondents (53%) don’t want to admit they’re using AI for their most important tasks, being worried that it makes them look replaceable.

Colette Stallbaumer, general manager of Microsoft Copilot and co-founder of Microsoft WorkLab, believes employees across all industries should discard their worries and treat AI use as an opportunity:

“I think that’s where people have to get over the fear hump a little bit and move into optimism, move into a growth mindset, taking the opportunity to learn these skills, because all of the data shows it’s going to make them more marketable, whether you’re inside your company today, or looking to make a move or get hired.”

Truly, according to the same research, hiring for AI tech talent has skyrocketed 323% over the last eight years. At the same time, even the non-tech-savvy professionals who simply know how to leverage AI tools like ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot in the workplace, are also in high demand.

To be more specific, 66% of business leaders surveyed said they wouldn’t hire someone without AI skills and 71% of business executives would rather hire a less experienced worker with AI skills than a more experienced person without such.

Many of the employees do understand the opportunities presented by AI skills. Therefore, over three-quarters of professionals say they need AI skills to remain competitive in the job market and get more job or promotion opportunities.

Paradoxically, only 39% of the global workforce who are using AI at work, have received AI training from their employers. In the U.S., nearly half of the executives are not currently investing in AI tools or products for employees, with just over 25% planning to offer training on generative AI this year.

“The big call out is if you’re a company, you are either falling behind or getting ahead. There’s no standing in place and so you should be having conversations about what is your point of view on AI and how it’s going to grow the business.”

Aneesh Raman, Vice President and workforce expert at LinkedIn

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.