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Will AI take our jobs? UK workers don’t think so

AI jobs UK

UK professionals are significantly less concerned about artificial intelligence (AI) taking their jobs compared to the rest of the world, research has shown.

The survey, conducted by IFS, showed that 25% of UK workers fear that AI will replace them in the workforce over the next five years. That’s compared to a 40% average across the US, France, Germany the Nordics, and Australia.

The lack of concern among UK professionals could be due to a more general apathy among the population when it comes to AI. The report found 40% of UK consumers don’t believe AI can bring any benefit to the brands they buy from compared to the global average of 27%.

Of the UK consumers who don’t see the benefits of AI, just 31% said they saw value in AI applications helping to guide purchasing decisions compared to 70% of Americans and 52% overall. 

US workers were the most likely to be concerned about AI, with 62% worried their role could be at risk.

The findings, taken from a survey of 7,200 people, showed that half of German participants believe AI will cause headcounts to fall at businesses compared to 25% in the US.

It suggests US respondents are more likely to see AI creating different employment opportunities, with 49% replying that AI will lead to larger workforces. This could be because US professionals believe that AI is offering new and differentiated employment opportunities as capabilities are developed, the report adds.

Bob De Caux, VP of AI and automation, IFS said: “ With many businesses implementing AI without a clear understanding of what they want it to achieve, it’s hardly surprising that workers may not be aware of the advantages the technology can bring. To derive value from AI, it is critical that companies first have a complete view of the enterprise and architect their businesses around delivering the all-important end result – the moment of service.”

Last month, a separate survey of UK data scientists found that 42% didn’t view data ethics as their responsibility.