3 in 4 employees worldwide now use AI: report

New report shows widespread use of AI despite hesitations from the top

3 in 4 employees worldwide now use AI: report

Three in four employees across the world are now using generative AI at work despite reluctance among employers in adopting the technology.

This is according to a joint report from Microsoft and LinkedIn, which surveyed 31,000 people from 31 countries to look into the usage and impact of generative AI in workplaces.

The report found that 75% of knowledge users now use AI at work today, including 46% who said they only started using it six months ago.

Majority of AI users reported enjoying various benefits while using AI, including:

  • Saving time (90%)
  • Being able to focus on the most important work (85%)
  • Being more creative (84%)
  • Enjoying their work more (83%)

These benefits improve further for so-called power users of AI - or those who are already familiar to extremely familiar in using the technology.

According to the report, power users utilise AI at work at least several times a week and are able to save more than 30 minutes a day. More than nine in 10 of them also said they enjoy the following benefits through AI:

  • Making their overwhelming workload more manageable (92%)
  • Boosting their creativity (92%)
  • Helping them focus on the most important work (93%)
  • Helping them feel more motivated (91%)
  • Enjoying work more (91%)

Stalled AI implementation

But using AI at work does not come without risks, according to the report, which attributed it to the slow movement of leaders on the tech.

The report attributed this pace to uncertainty that is "stalling vision" as 60% of leaders are that their organisation's leadership lacks a plan and vision to implement AI.

Another 59% said they are worried about quantifying the productivity gains from AI - despite 79% of leaders agreeing that its adoption is needed to remain competitive.

Due to the lack of guidance or clearance from leadership, employees then resort to using AI "under wraps."

More than three in four (78%) respondents said they bring their own AI tools to work - a situation that manifests across all generations, and more common at small and medium-sized companies.

The lack of guidance also leaves more than half of employees feeling reluctant in admitting that they use AI for their important tasks (52%) and making them worried that using it on important task will make them look replaceable (53%).

"This approach means missing out on the benefits that come from strategic AI use at scale," the report read. "It also puts company data at risk in an environment where leaders' #1 concern for the year ahead is cybersecurity and data privacy."

Karim Lakhani, Chair, Digital Data Design Institute at Harvard, said that the world is now at the "forefront of integrating AI to not just work faster, but to work smarter."

"It's our responsibility as organisational leaders to ensure that this technology elevates our teams' creativity and aligns with our ethical values," Lakhani said in the report.

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