Research + Tech

Employees have mixed feelings about AI in the workplace

A recent survey conducted by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc. shows four out of five employees believe artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace will make work more empowering and engaging; however, they also think employers' reluctance to discuss the topic is causing fear and concern, according to www.constructiondive.com.

The "Engaging Opportunity: Working Smarter with AI" survey polled 3,000 workers in eight countries and found 58 percent of organizations haven't discussed AI's possible effects on the workforce with their employees. Eighty-two percent of survey respondents said AI is an opportunity to improve their jobs. Thirty-four percent are concerned the technology could someday take their jobs—a viewpoint held by 42 percent of Generation Z employees (those born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s). Two-thirds of workers surveyed said they would be more comfortable with the use of AI in the workplace if employers were more transparent about the future integration of the technology.

Sixty-four percent of respondents said they would welcome AI if it simplified or automated internal processes and helped balance their workloads. Some researchers are using AI to uncover ways to protect workers, such as University of Waterloo researchers in Ontario who are using AI to gain insight regarding how skilled laborers can reduce wear-and-tear injuries. The outcomes of such research likely would benefit many workers within the construction industry.