What are the implications of AI for the workplace? We asked jobseekers for their views amid concerns about ChatGPT.
Artificial intelligence [AI] is all over the news, with warnings that it could lead to the end of humanity unless properly regulated. But how is that percolating down to the average worker? How worried are we about the everyday implications for us and how we work?
Workingmums sought to find out by polling around 300 jobseekers. There were some interesting results. First and foremost, the vast majority say their employer has not spoken to them about any AI-related changes they are implementing or working on despite all the recent concerns about what ChatGPT and the like will mean for people’s jobs. Eighty-eight per cent said they had not heard anything from their employer about the implications. Meanwhile, 86 per cent said they had not received any training at work to help with using AI tools.
This may be due to the speed of the current wave of generative AI developments, but with ChatGPT already being used by many people personally for everything from writing essays to writing speeches, changes at work are coming and employers will need to explain the implications.
AI is fairly well embedded in many workplaces already, from chatbots to facial recognition systems, and experts say it can be beneficial in terms of reducing workloads. Due to the pace of change that means employers doing regular job reviews to ensure they are using the technology as effectively as possible.
The poll showed that there is wide variation in how people feel about AI at work. Twenty per cent say they are very worried about what it will mean for their job or the kind of work they do, while just over 37% are mildly worried. More people think it could have a positive impact – 36% – than those who think it will have a negative impact [29%], but many are undecided. Nearly half [47%] think it will change the job they currently do, but 28% think it won’t.
When it comes to recruitment, more people are worried about the implications than are not – 23% are very worried while 31% are fairly worried. There has been concern about bias in the recruitment process and about how AI might, for instance, lead to those who don’t have a traditional cv, for example, if they have taken career breaks, finding it hard to get job interviews. This will, to a large extent, depend on how the AI is programmed.
Interestingly, we did a similar poll on our workingwise.co.uk site which is for older workers. They were significantly more worried about the implications of AI for recruitment – 70% were very or fairly worried. They were also more worried about the implications of AI for their jobs, but less likely to be very worried. And they were more divided on whether AI will change their job, with more thinking it will and more also thinking it won’t than on the workingmums site. There were more don’t knows on the mums site. Older workers were also less likely to think any change would be positive.
*For more on ChatGPT from an employer perspective, click here.