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93% of People Ready to Take Orders from a Robot at Work: Study

Robots are getting increased recognition and acceptability in the workplace. As per a study conducted by Oracle and Future Workplace, 93% of people are ready to take instructions from robots at work.

The study of 1,320 U.S. HR leaders and employees found that while people are ready to embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) at work and understand that the benefits go far beyond automating manual processes, organizations are not doing enough to help their employees embrace AI. This, in turn, will lead to reduced productivity, skillset obsolescence and job loss.

The study identified a large gap between the way people are using AI at home and at work. While 70% people are using some form of AI in their personal life, only 6% of HR professionals are actively deploying AI and only 24% of employees are currently using some form of AI at work.

To determine why there is such a gap in AI adoption when people are clearly ready to embrace AI at work, the study examined HR leader and employee perceptions of the benefits of AI, the obstacles preventing AI adoption and the business consequences of not embracing AI.

Employees and HR Leaders See the Potential of AI

The research shows that the respondents agreed that AI will have a positive impact on their organizations and when asked about the biggest benefit of AI, HR leaders and employees both said increased productivity.

The benefits to include AI in the next three years as per the respondents are:

Employees believe that AI will improve operational efficiencies (59 percent), enable faster decision making (50 percent), significantly reduce cost (45 percent), enable better customer experiences (40 percent) and improve the employee experience (37 percent).

  • HR leaders believe AI will positively impact learning and development (27 percent), performance management (26 percent), compensation/payroll (18 percent) and recruiting and employee benefits (13 percent).
  • Organizations are Not Doing Enough to Prepare the Workforce for AI

Despite seeing lot of potential by embracing AI at the workplace towards improved business performance, organizations are not doing enough to embrace AI at workplace and prepare workforce for AI and harnessing greater productivity. Respondents also identified a number of other barriers holding back AI in the enterprise.

  • Almost all (90%) of HR leaders are concerned they will not be able to adjust to the rapid adoption of AI as part of their job and to make matters worse, they are not currently empowered to address an emerging AI skill gap in their organization.
  • While more than half of employees (51%) are concerned they will not be able to adjust to the rapid adoption of AI and 71% believe AI skills and knowledge will be important in the next three years, 72% of HR leaders noted that their organization does not provide any form of AI training program.
  • On top of the skill gap, HR leaders and employees identified cost (74%), failure of technology (69%) and security risks (56%) as the other major barriers to AI adoption in the enterprise.

Despite all the talk about people being worried about AI entering the workplace, the study found the opposite to be true with HR leaders and employees (79% of HR leaders; 60% of employees) believing a failure to adopt AI will have negative consequences on their own careers, colleagues and overall organization.

  • Respondents identified reduced productivity, skillset obsolescence and job loss as the top three consequences of failing to embrace AI in the workforce.
  • From an organizational standpoint, respondents believe embracing AI will have the most positive impact on directors and C-Suite executives. By failing to empower leadership teams with AI, organizations could lose a competitive advantage.

“As this study shows, people are not afraid of AI taking their jobs and instead want to be able to quickly and easily take advantage of the latest innovations,” said Emily He, SVP, Human Capital Management Cloud Business Group, Oracle. “To help employees embrace AI, organizations should partner with their HR leaders to address the skill gap and focus their IT strategy on embedding simple and powerful AI innovations into existing business processes.”

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