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Impact of Artifical Intelligence on the Future of Work: Employee Perspectives

Are workers nervous or excited about the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? We have heard Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg debate the impact of AI. Their contradictory prognostications that AI will either kill or save us all, the frequently heard debates that AI will either take away or improve our jobs, lead us to wonder how the rank and file of employees view the topic.

By
Gary Edwards, PhD
,
on
August 3, 2017

Are workers nervous or excited about the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? We have heard Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg debate the impact of AI. Their contradictory prognostications that AI will either kill or save us all, the frequently heard debates that AI will either take away or improve our jobs, lead us to wonder how the rank and file of employees view the topic.

Golfdale Consulting polled a nationally representative sample of US full-time employees*, asking “Do you believe your job will be enhanced or threatened by new Artificial Intelligence (AI) automation in the workplace?”

Despite premonitions of doom and gloom by experts, the vast majority of employees are either not concerned at all (41%) or are excited by what AI holds out for them (52%).

Future Impact of AI on Your Job

Household Income and AI Impact

Workers with high Household Incomes are most enthusiastic about AI’s impact on the workplace. For low-income earners, it is not that they feel threatened; the majority simply expect no impact on their jobs.

Education Level and AI Impact

Enthusiasm is also highest among those most educated. Amongst those with the least years of education, the majority (57%) believe that AI automation will have no impact on their work while the vast majority of those with the highest education (73%) anticipate that AI will enhance or greatly enhance their work.

Whatever the future holds for AI, currently few workers are concerned about its impact on their future work while the plurality perceives no impact. It seems, however, that the vast majority of upper income and highly educated workers share Mark Zuckerberg’s optimism on the topic.

Golfdale Consulting is a strategic management consulting company focused on insights and communications to a diverse set of clients, from software start-ups to Fortune 100 enterprises.

Contact: Hande Bilhan - hbilhan@golfdaleconsulting.com

*Results are from a census based nationally representative online survey of 417 US full-time employees between the ages of 18 and 65. The results of this survey are accurate at the 95% confidence level plus or minus 5 percentage points. Respondents were polled through Cint, an insights exchange platform with access to 40 million registered consumer panelists worldwide. Cint complies with all applicable market research industry codes, data protection and privacy laws and regulations and is ISO 20252 compliant.

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