Like their counterparts in the private sector, public sector organizations are still very much wrestling with how to harness the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace.
If findings from a new survey are any indication, many workers at these agencies are wrestling with fears that AI could ultimately make them expendable.
Forbes Advisor recently polled 2,000 employed Americans, to gauge survey participants’ opinions and concerns regarding artificial intelligence. More broadly, many respondents said they believe that AI can improve their customer experience when interacting with a brand or organization. For example, 54% said that AI could enhance long-form written content, such as website content, with 48% saying AI could do the same with regard to e-mail correspondence.
Still, skepticism remains around the implementation of AI, from both the consumer and employee perspective. For example, 76% of survey participants expressed concern about AI generating misinformation on an organization’s website, with 43% saying they were “very concerned” and 33% indicating they are “somewhat concerned.”
These same respondents shared their trepidation about AI’s potential effect on employment. More than three-quarters (77%) said they are concerned that AI will cause job loss within the next 12 months. Among this group, 44% said they were “very concerned,” and 33% reported feeling “somewhat concerned” about this prospect.
AI isn’t entirely new to the HR suite, of course.
One recent survey of 250 HR leaders found many already using artificial intelligence for a multitude of tasks, such as employee records management, cited by 78% of respondents as one way they’re already using AI, followed by payroll processing and benefits administration (77%), recruitment and hiring (73%), performance management (72%) and onboarding new employees (69%).
Looking ahead, nearly all of those same HR leaders (92%) said they expect to increase their use of AI in at least one area in the future, such as performance management (43%), payroll processing and benefits administration (42%), recruitment and hiring (41%) and onboarding new employees (40%).
As Gem Siocan, a staff writer at Business News Daily, recently pointed out, these findings track with other research that suggests AI’s utility within HR will only grow, while adding that trepidation still exists in the HR suite and throughout the enterprise.
“Progress in artificial intelligence technology has remade the human resources department, enabling HR professionals to leverage machine learning and algorithms to streamline their work processes, reduce their biases and enhance their analysis and decision-making,” wrote Siocan. “However, current limitations and vulnerabilities have given some organizations pause when it comes to adopting AI for additional use cases.”
And, as Forbes Advisor noted, the reluctance to fully embrace AI is more prevalent among the rest of the workforce. “As AI becomes more integrated into various industries, the fear of job displacement presents a significant concern,” according to a Forbes Advisor statement, which also offered a handful of suggestions as to what employers can do to both maximize AI’s potential and quell employees’ concerns about the technology’s increasing role in the workplace.
“Based on what our survey found, strategies such as reskilling programs, job transition support and educational initiatives could play a role in addressing these concerns and help workers adapt to the changing job landscape.”
08 May 2023
HR News Article