Generative AI in the workplace, the fear, the impact and solutions

it tech support

In a briefing to detail the impact of generative AI in the workplace, and the research conducted by BCG X where they surveyed more than 12 000 leaders, managers, and employees in 18 countries, the solution seems pretty simple.

How do people really feel about generative AI?

Respondents were optimistic about the impact of AI in their workplaces an increase compared to five years ago.

Concerns crept in around generative AI with around 79% believing that AI-specific regulation was necessary and 71% believing that the rewards of generative AI outweighed the risks.

*More on the statistics once an embargo has been lifted.

In the briefing, BCG AI experts Nicolas de Bellefonds, Vincianne Beauchene, and Steve Mills shared some insight into how workers were already using generative AI and what leaders needed to consider going forward.

Are entry-level jobs on the way out?

Beauchene highlighted a needed shift for societies to evolve.   She noted the much-needed ability to unlearn the old in order to focus on learning new skills.

Embracing the unknown was key, she said.

The disparity between upper and lower-line employees

There was a clear disconnect between some managers, entry-level employees, and leaders.

This needs to change according to the briefing, as managers needed to drive the change when it came to AI.

This year was the era of transformation and the pace at which AI was being introduced would be a challenge considering AI growth moved exponentially while humans adapted towards information in a more linear fashion.

Adapt new tools

Beauchene said companies had started the momentum.

While there was a notable fear of AI targeting creativity and empathy, there needed to be a conscious shift in understanding that there was added value in augmenting AI into everyday use.

A cultural shift was necessary considering we were in 2023.

People needed to view the shift as evolution rather than transformation since evolution formed part of a natural process that needed to happen.

Companies refusing AI usage in workplaces.

Steven Mills said companies needed to encourage employees to experiment rather than prohibit the use.

Companies had to impose guidelines on the use of AI but stopping experimentation was not the answer.

“It’s important for employees to experiment with AI.”

He said it was important for companies to allow employees to interact with ai developments.

The constant change since 2017.

Generative AI has developed exponentially since 2017 and Beauchene said in 2023 it was a definite norm since the majority of users were already using it on a normal basis.

Nicola de Belefonds noted the gap between perceptions in companies and highlighted the much-needed upskilling that had to happen.

“35% of people think their jobs will be impacted, he said.  “We must address the upskilling issue.”

The overall consensus was that organizations needed to add generative AI as a solution in their workspace, in a responsible way as AI should be used to augment jobs rather than destroy them.

Regulation of AI

While there was a demand for AI to be regulated in some sectors, the call was to ensure that incoming developments from AI did not violate longstanding regulations.

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Featured image: MartProduction/Pexels



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