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AI could solve the labour shortage crisis but executives are wary over privacy, new survey finds

AI will transform the workplace in months, not years, new study shows
AI will transform the workplace in months, not years, new study shows Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Pascale Davies
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AI will transform workforces, strengthen competition and affect bottom lines in the coming months and not years, according to a survey of 500 C-level executives in the US and UK.

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Business leaders view generative artificial intelligence (AI) as a solution to labour shortages but they are concerned about the collection and storage of personal data, according to a survey of 500 chief executives in the US and UK.

Generative AI can produce text, images, or other media, using generative models; major companies such as Microsoft have invested heavily into it as the future tech that can transform our lives.

The survey by the software company Icertis released on Wednesday also showed that AI will transform workforces, strengthen competition and affect bottom lines in the coming months and not years.

The business leaders said employment levels will be the top macroeconomic factor driving AI adoption in 2024. This makes sense in the context of labour shortages as bosses may be more eager to turn to AI to complete work that could otherwise be done by humans.

Currently, more than 75 per cent of EU companies need help finding professionals with the necessary skills to fill jobs, according to Eurostat. AI could be the saviour in narrowing this labour gap.

Over half of the C-level executives surveyed also said that AI will incite greater competition as it minimises gaps between competitors and as such, more than 80 per cent of respondents expect generative AI to impact their bottom line within the next five years.

However, privacy concerns could hamper the use of generative AI in the workplace.

Over 40 per cent of executives said they favoured government regulations around AI that prioritise responsibility and ethics over innovation opportunities. Meanwhile. 30 per cent favoured faster development.

The survey comes one week after international governments signed a “world-first” agreement on AI at a global summit in the United Kingdom to combat the "catastrophic" risks the technology could present.

Such risks include AI developing biological or chemical weapons, spreading disinformation, and also how personal data is stored, as AI systems require large amounts of personal data to make predictions.

The survey showed that due to privacy concerns UK execs are far more hesitant to use generative AI models like ChatGPT. Over 41 per cent of US executives will give their employees the green light compared to only 30 per cent of their UK counterparts.

“This survey demonstrates the huge impact generative AI stands to have on how enterprises compete and win,” said Monish Darda, CTO and Co-founder, Icertis.

“2024 will be a critical year as executives determine how they will differentiate themselves in this new market,” he said.

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