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Generative AI could save office workers a full day weekly, survey reveals
Mon, 6th Nov 2023

Generative AI possesses the potential to save office workers a full day's work each week, according to a new survey of over 900 office workers from the UK, USA, and Australia.

The study was commissioned by SnapLogic, a company engaged in integrating generative AI capabilities, to comprehend how gen-AI is utilised and perceived within large corporation circles.

About 47% of survey participants asserted that gen-AI could potentially save them a day's work each week, with those currently using gen-AI for work affirming that it already helps cut down their work time by 1-5 hours per week.

Of those, 24% noted that gen-AI saves them between 6-10 hours of work per week, a figure that ballooned to 47% when they were questioned about the potential future time-saving capabilities of gen-AI.

Despite perceiving potential in gen-AI as a tool capable of reducing labour-time, over two-thirds of the respondents (68%) claimed not to have a sufficient understanding of gen-AI for their current roles.

In fact, relatively younger respondents and males were more likely to express a lack of understanding. In addition, over a third (38%) admitted they hadn't undergone any training on using gen-AI appropriately. This suggests that employers may not be doing enough to equip their workforce with necessary gen-AI skills.

Many participants, however, expressed their eagerness to bridge the skills gap. About 53% of the respondents are looking to learn more about gen-AI. And it's not without reason, around 81% believe honing their gen-AI skills or understanding will be crucial for career advancement.

An intriguing revelation from the survey was that 40% of respondents had used gen-AI for work without informing their employer or colleagues, that represents potential ethical, legal and security concerns for businesses. Interestingly, 22% utilised gen-AI without any disclosure because they lacked knowledge on certain aspects and felt too embarrassed to ask their human peers for help.

Jeremiah Stone, Chief Technology Officer at SnapLogic, expressed his surprise at the contrast between the number of people acknowledging the labour-saving potential of gen-AI and those who are not using it at all.

According to Stone, "There's a lot of lost productivity, exacerbated by the fact that some people are likely using gen-AI incorrectly or in ways that could actually pose a risk to their employer".

Stone further emphasised the importance of employee training, clear guidance and sensible policies in creating a conducive environment for gen-AI experimentation.

As he sees it, "Workplace adoption of generative AI is a bit of a Wild West scenario, but it doesn't need to be this way. This is when employees can really discover what's possible with gen-AI."