Artificial intelligence (AI), technology’s latest answer to the challenges faced by business across industries, still has a ways to go before large-scale implementation. And new data suggests employees and their organizations may need to be patient with their digital transformation desires.
According to a recent survey from UKG, a payroll and workforce management software provider, full implementation has a ways to go. Its latest data, featured in UKG’s “AI at Work Report,” reveals executives face hurdles including employee confusion about the technology and the level of transparency employees need. Despite the challenges, nearly three-quarters (70%) of C-suite leader respondents said they expect AI to be automating tasks by 2028.
Timetable Concerns and Benefit Discrepancies
Out of the leadership surveyed, about seven in 10 (71%) C-suite leaders said increasing the use AI is of high or medium priority due to the competitive advantages it offers, with many feeling pressure to do more. Nearly two-thirds (62%) said they’re at least slightly concerned their organization isn’t moving fast enough in integrating AI.
Most leaders think AI incorporation needs to happen, but they’re nearly split down the middle on who benefits the most from the new tools. Just over half (51%) of executives said employees have benefited the most because it automates routine tasks and simplifies jobs. Just under half (49%) said companies have benefited the most.
Employee Knowledge Gap
Despite the time it may take AI to be fully entrenched into business processes, nearly eight in 10 (78%) said their organization is using AI right now in some capacity. Over half (56%) of executives estimate their workers are directly using AI to automate tasks or augment their capabilities.
Despite widespread coverage of generative AI and its potential effects on work and society, many employees seem unaware of the existence of AI in their personal lives. The UKG survey found that less than half (44%) of 600 employees surveyed globally believe they have interacted with AI in the past.
However, 90% of the same group said they use things like GPS navigation tools, entertainment recommendations on streaming services, auto-correct features in text editors, and home assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa.
The survey added that only 42% of employees think they’re using AI-powered devices in their daily workflows, despite many of today’s business tools already using at least some rudimentary form of AI. More than half (54%) of employees said they have no idea who in their company is using AI. Three-quarters of this group (75%) also said they would be more excited about AI if their company were more transparent about how it plans to use the technology going forward.
In total, 4,200 employees in nine countries completed the UKG survey, which was conducted from August 16 to September 4. For the U.S. only, the study included employees, managers, and C-suite leaders.