“AI in the Workplace: Optimism Outweighs Anxiety Among Workers”

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The idea of ​​AI being used in the workplace can make workers uneasy. But far more workers than expected have positive expectations for the technology.

Artificial intelligence has developed rapidly in recent years. As a result, whenever an article titled “Artificial intelligence will take away jobs” comes out, some people will have great anxiety. But Gus Nisbett, a 30-year-old music producer, is excited about the changes AI will bring to work.

Nisbett is also responsible for establishing creative strategies at Massive Music, a London-based sound branding agency. “(The AI-related changes) are all about co-creation,” he said. He is already using generative AI tools including ‘ChatGPT’ of ‘OpenAI’ to simplify administrative tasks and strengthen creative projects. “I start with an idea, then I use AI to shape it and develop it in more ways,” he said.

Since Nisbett introduced AI to his daily work, his work efficiency has improved significantly. Tasks that would normally take half a day, such as analyzing customer feedback on a project, can be processed much faster with ChatGPT. “If you use it in the right way for the right job, you can cut what would normally take 4-5 hours to 30 minutes,” he said. He spends this extra time focusing on tasks that require complex thinking and creativity.

According to Microsoft’s annual ‘Work Trend Index’ released last May, 49% of respondents were concerned that “AI will replace their jobs.” On the other hand, 70% of respondents said, “I will leave as much work as possible to AI to reduce the workload.”

“Rather than fearing job loss, employees are eager to see AI help them with their piles of work in digital form,” said Collette Stollbaumer, general manager of Future for Work at Microsoft. According to the report, 64% of workers are struggling to get their day-to-day work done due to the constant intrusion of emails, meetings and other digital forms of distraction. Stollbaumer said that when workers use AI tools, they will “realize that these tools do not replace their jobs, but rather enhance what they can do and their capabilities.”

Stollbaumer gave an example of how AI is used to manage meetings. “When every meeting is digital, you can engage in a whole new way,” she said. When that happens, Stollbaumer could use AI to recap key points from missed meetings and ask it to analyze the meeting in real time to see what people are agreeing on and what needs further discussion.

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Some workers say AI gives them the mental freedom to do more creative things and capture bigger ideas.

Many AI tools can take over repetitive tasks or become convenient means of managing a worker’s time. For example, Nisbett uses image-generating AI such as ‘Midjourney’ to ‘cool’ the material it provides to customers, and AI search tools to search for relevant lyrics in a music database. Without AI tools, this would have taken hours.

Daniel Lock, who teaches organizational management, information and decision-making at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, agrees that a major benefit of AI in the workplace is reduced workload. “I’m very excited about the potential benefits of getting rid of a lot of the monotonous and grueling work in the workplace,” he said. “That will allow people to focus on what they really need, what human thinking can do the most to help.”

Experts say workers will be able to reclaim the time they used to spend attending meetings or analyzing lengthy emails and spend it on the things they love. In other words, the prospect is that more time will be spent on the complex, creative, and human part.

“Paradoxically, using machines to speed up work means that you can add a human touch to your work,” says Nisbett. “It gives me a lot more time to come up with ideas and think outside the box, rather than just focusing on getting things done,” she says.

It is too early to make any conclusions about AI’s impact on the workplace. There is an optimistic outlook among experts, and many office workers are increasingly positive about the technology. Nisbet already sees AI tools as tools for collaboration. “People will still want that human connection and the human spirit to be embedded in their work,” he said. “AI tools can be a catalyst for this discourse.”

For workers who feel insecure about advances in technology, taking an optimistic view of AI can be a good strategy. “Thinking about how you can work with machines is always a better approach than fighting them,” Rock said.

2023-05-28 01:42:56
#adoption #empowering #workers #BBC #News

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