Artificial intelligence technology is something of a hot-button topic at the moment, and a seemingly divisive one at that; while some are eager to see the introduction of AI into our daily lives and are positively excited about the prospect, others view the rise of AI with trepidation. We have discussed the subject in the past ourselves, touching upon the apparent widespread lack of preparation among UK firms, however a new study conducted by Adobe has now provided some insight into the opinions of the UK workforce itself, with some truly interesting results.

The survey of 2,000 full-time and part-time office professionals in the UK found that two-thirds of respondents are undaunted by the integration of AI technologies into the workplace as they feel there are aspects of their job that require human abilities and cannot be replaced by technological solutions.

Rather, these workers seek to utilise AI technologies as a form of digital personal assistant for the execution of admin-based tasks. More specifically, the tops tasks with which workers sought help from AI assistants include:
  • Reminders of projects or appointments (46%)
  • Help with research on a work topic (36%)
  • Searches of electronic documents for information (30%)
However while it seems that the majority of UK workers are more than happy to allow AI to provide assistance with admin-related tasks, they are less eager to accept help with more creative or strategic tasks. Tasks with which employees are least likely to seek help include:
  • Creative suggestions or ideas for writing content (16%)
  • Feedback on tone or style of emails or longer-form documents (16%)
  • Suggestions on how to grow their network of colleagues (10%)
Mark Greenaway, Head of Emerging Business EMEA at Adobe, commented, “The research clearly shows that UK office workers are very open to embracing advanced technology like AI to augment their working day. Considering the often sensationalistic and inaccurate reports given about AI technology, and its impact on our lives, it’s important that workers remember that AI can help make their lives easier, so they have more free time innovating and being productive.”

Within the next 20 years it is expected that as much as 60% of all office admin tasks with be completed via AI technology, causing a substantial shift in many job roles as a result. As such, it is important for employers to ensure that their workforce is properly equipped for this shift. This should be done as a matter of urgency, as currently only 19% of workers feel ‘very equipped’ to deal with advanced technology.

Mark Greenaway of Adobe further stated, “Humans don’t feel like they’re just a cog in a machine. Our study shows that office workers are confident that they’ll continue to matter in the workplace, even in a world of fast-developing technology.

“Our findings suggest that people are open to change, but they also show that workers want to be confident when using new technologies – currently the majority don’t feel they have the skills necessary to do so – so more needs to be done by businesses. As long as employees adopt a learn-it-all mind-set, and companies design user-centric technology that’s intuitive, technology and work patterns should evolve hand in hand.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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