Generative AI (Gen AI) is continuing to shape the global business landscape as we know it, with more digital disruption expected in the near future.
However, whilst organisations are keen to invest in and develop AI technologies, their strategies do not always align with their workforces. In fact, a report conducted by Oliver Wyman Forum suggests that the rapid adoption of AI has left many employees without the relevant skills and worsened morale as a result.
It highlights that, whilst the transformative impact of Gen AI continues to be felt worldwide, businesses must provide training and transparency to support human workforces.
Balancing risk in the new AI economy
After surveying 25,000 workers worldwide, Oliver Wyman Forum estimates that Gen AI could add up to US$20tn to global GDP by 2030, whilst saving 300 billion work hours a year.
The overwhelming positives that this could bring to the digital economy are already being realised by human workforces. Of those surveyed, 96% said they believe Gen AI can assist them in their jobs, with tools like ChatGPT having significantly increased AI use in the workplace. More than half of workers now use it weekly and 15% use it daily, according to the report, in part due to AI uptake being huge in the second half of 2023.
However, as AI growth has occurred so quickly, many companies have not yet put stringent guidelines in place to support their employees. As Gen AI reshapes the workplace, it could place new stresses on organisational structures, with the potential to displace 85 million jobs by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) as cited in the report.
With this in mind, workplace anxieties are only continuing to grow, as employees fear that their jobs could become automated, replacing them with AI. Oliver Wyman Forum suggests that three in five white-collar workers now fear that their roles will become redundant or automated. As a result, workplace morale and productivity
In order to fully capitalise on the benefits of AI, companies should be investing in workers by upskilling them and training them in the technology. Ensuring that they are fully versed in how to utilise AI systems, business productivity and AI outcomes will improve.
Technology companies like Microsoft have already rolled out skills programmes to support their employees, ensuring that they are fully trained in AI. The company plans to have supported one million people in gaining AI skills by 2025 for them to improve their technology career.
Davos: AI misuse and combating misinformation
On a global geopolitical scale, misinformation and societal polarisation ranked as two of the top three risks in the WEF’s Global Risks Report. Enterprise use of AI would do well to be considered in line with growth strategies, but must be done so in a way that is responsible to achieve maximum successes.
At the World Economic Forum’s 2024 meeting in Davos, world and business leaders were keen to prioritise conversations about AI regulation in line with risk management. This is to ensure that AI is a force for good for both businesses the world.
In a global landscape marred by AI being used negatively by cyber threat actors to extort valuable information, the timing for AI regulation is viewed as critical. Governments around the world continue to discuss how AI can be regulated and to what extent. In particular, the EU AI Act is still in its provisional stages and is expected to be amended throughout 2024.
With this in mind, businesses will need to consider balancing risk strategies with innovation, in order to maximise digital transformations.
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