Currently, there appears to be a perception amongst the public that office workers dwell on the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), and ultimately, the security of their jobs.
Research by Adobe published last week shows that this is not the case. Of the 2,000 U.K. professionals surveyed, over two thirds (68 percent) said they are not daunted by the increasing use of AI – because they believe their role simply cannot be replaced with technology. 66 per cent did wish to have an AI assistant to ease their workload. However, this was usually desired only if they were contributing to the low-level skills (such as reminding employees of projects, upcoming meetings or searching long documents).
These types of ‘smart-assistants’ already exist in the form of Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home and Apple’s Siri – but not yet at a deep enough level. Essentially, AI assistants were only desired to curb the tasks that divert one’s time from the real task at hand – that is, conducting the actual meeting, writing a journal article or polishing your research paper. This was supported by just 18 percent wishing to be served inspiring creative content for writing or design tasks by an AI assistant (with just 18 and 16 in the U.K. and Germany respectively).
Nevertheless, there is still some angst surrounding the topic. Just 30 per cent of U.S. and German office workers and 19 percent in the U.K. feel very equipped to cope with today’s race to creating the most intricate AI machine. What appears evident is that technology and work can and will progress together, so long as office workers are open to change, and companies seek to develop intuitive, user-centric tools. As Mark Greenway, head of emerging business for EMEA Adobe, said: “It’s important that workers remember AI can help make their lives easier, so they have more free time innovating and being productive.”