More than half of Australians using, experimenting with generative AI at work

Which job level is using the tech most often?

More than half of Australians using, experimenting with generative AI at work

More than half of Australian professionals are already using or experimenting with generative AI at work, but a new report suggests trust issues with the technology remain in the workforce.

There are now 53% of Australians utilising the technology at work, much higher than the 36% recorded in 2023, according to a new report from Slack and Salesforce that polled 1,000 professionals.

Younger employees are more excited over the technology, as usage is more pronounced among Millennials (63%) and Gen Z (57%) employees, compared with Gen X (44%) and Baby Boomers (20%).

Generative AI use by job level

By position, adoption of generative AI is more focused on higher positions, with managing directors and non-executive directors (82%) embracing the technology more.

More than half of owners and C-suite executives (55%), as well as senior managers and directors (67%) are also adopting generative AI, according to the report.

They are significantly higher than the adoption rates recorded for junior management and team leaders (39%) and those without management responsibilities (34%).

Trust gap over generative AI

The report attributed the uneven adoption of generative AI in workplaces to a trust gap in the workforce. According to the survey, only 59% of employees trust generative AI.

"AI is the top priority for CEOs and leaders, and yet there is a clear trust gap that has emerged among workers," said Rowena Westphalen, SVP of Innovation, AI and Customer Advisory at Salesforce Asia Pacific, in a statement.

"This means the excitement is not translating down the ladder to the wider business."

There is also an observed gender disparity when it comes to trusting generative AI, with men (61%) more likely to trust the tech than women (40%).

Westphalen said it underscores the need for a "targeted approach" to prepare women for AI integration. According to the executive, businesses need to invest in training and upskilling to bolster confidence and trust in generative AI across the workforce.

"What is clear from these results is that a lack of trust is proving to be a barrier when it comes to AI adoption," Westphalen said. "Greater transparency, industry standards, and human validation are all things that will be key to bridging this gap and ensuring inclusivity in the era of AI."

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