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What do employees really think of AI

Is AI a menace to employment or a tool that will simplify the lives of employees?

According to PERSOLKELLY’s 2019 H2 APAC Workforce Insights, the majority of employees in Asia Pacific (APAC) have a positive perception of automated processes and artificial intelligence (AI) programs.

Nevertheless, some employees are apprehensive about the potential impact on their job security, and organizations must take additional measures to foster a more seamless integration of their workforce with automation and AI.

Emerging markets such as China and India are dominating the region in the rapid adoption of these new technologies, particularly by businesses in APAC.

Automation and AI were implemented by 36% and 34% of respondents from China, respectively.

Additionally, one-third (36%) and one-fifth (21%) of respondents from India report that their organizations have implemented automation and AI, respectively.

It is intriguing that the workplace incorporation of these technologies is the lowest in developed markets in APAC, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Australia.

Employees are of the opinion that these new technologies will be beneficial for businesses. Specifically, two-thirds (68%) of respondents stated that automation and AI will enhance their work efficacy, while over half (57%) believe that it will contribute to their company’s profitability.

These impressions are contingent upon both market and age in the region. The perspective of younger employees (73%) is more optimistic than that of elder employees (54%), and this optimism is particularly evident in developing markets.

In Indonesia, two-thirds (68%) and three-quarters (75%) of respondents are of the opinion that automation and AI will enhance their company’s profitability, while less than half (44%) and 48% of respondents in Korea are of the same opinion.

One-third of employees (38%) are apprehensive about the possibility that these technologies will ultimately replace their jobs. The dread is most prevalent in India (56%), Malaysia (49%) and Thailand (46%), while it is least prevalent in China (32%) and Australia (32%).

Younger respondents appear to be more concerned about their employment security than their older counterparts, despite their more optimistic attitudes.

The study revealed that 40% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 anticipate that automation and AI will eventually replace their occupations. Conversely, only 32% of respondents aged 55 and older subscribe to this perspective.

Brett Maguire, Regional Marketing Director, APAC, PERSOLKELLY, stated that automation and AI will permeate every industry in the region, and employees are anticipated to embrace these technologies as a result of the potential for increased productivity and efficiency.

However, not all employees are expressing optimism regarding automation and AI. It is essential for Asian companies to proactively assist their employees in comprehending the significance of automation and AI in the workplace and to effectively integrate them.

The survey also indicates that employees who have access to automation and AI are more content (85%) with their companies than those who lack such access (62%).

Organisations must also address employees’ apprehensions regarding automation and AI adoption in the workplace, as this may lead to improved employee satisfaction.

Currently, less than 10% of companies worldwide are actively preparing for the rise in automation and AI in the workplace.

In APAC, an average of 41% of the workforce anticipates that their organizations will increase investments in AI and automation over the next two years. In developing markets such as China (65%), India (61%), Vietnam (53%) and Indonesia (46%), this conviction is most prevalent.