CEOs hiring, firing and redeploying due to generative AI

'Two out of three CEOs are acting without a clear view of how to help their workforce with the disruption and inevitable transitions AI will bring'

CEOs hiring, firing and redeploying due to generative AI

Amid fears of generative AI disrupting the workforce, a new report has found that nearly an equal number of chief executive officers (CEOs) are hiring, redeploying, or reducing staff due to the emerging technology.

A survey by IBM among 3,000 CEOs from over 30 countries revealed that 46% have hired more employees due to generative AI, while 26% are planning to do so in the next 12 months.

However, 43% of CEOs also said they had to reduce or redeploy their employees because of the emerging tech, with 28% saying they plan to do this in the next 12 months.

These findings come in the wake of previous Goldman Sachs report that AI could expose 300 million full-time jobs, but could also lead to the creation of new roles.

IBM's latest study on the changing recruitment and retention decisions within organisations supports previous research.

"As AI invades the workplace, both consciously and surreptitiously, it is also fuelling workforce disruption," the IBM report said.

Lack of direction

Despite the ongoing workforce disruption, the IBM report also found that only 28% of CEOs have assessed the potential impact of generative AI on the workforce.

"It means two out of three CEOs are acting without a clear view of how to help their workforce with the disruption and inevitable transitions AI will bring," the report said. "This is among the most disquieting findings from our analysis."

According to the report, 36% of CEOs are planning to make an assessment of AI's workforce impact in the next 12 months.

Still, the report said the situation needs to be monitored, because while CEOs are ready to adopt generative AI, only 30% of non-CEO senior executives said their organisation is ready for it responsibly.

Roberto Tomasi, CEO of Autostrade per l'Italia, urged fellow executives to engage with their team when it comes to decision-making.

"Before making an important decision, I try to confirm if my view is correct. And I try to share what is going into the decision in case my team has doubts or some different ideas," he said in the report.

Widespread adoption of AI has been growing across the world, with banks and global consulting firms allowing the emerging technology to be used in their workplaces. This comes as many employers recognise technology modernisation (45%) as the key to their productivity goals, which is their highest priority (48%) this 2023, according to the IBM report.

"CEOs need to assess their company requirements around data privacy, intellectual property protection, security, algorithmic accountability, and governance in order to plan their deployment of emerging use cases of generative AI at scale," said Jesus Mantas, Global Managing Partner, IBM Consulting, in a media release.

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