LONDON, June 29, 2023 — Workday, Inc., a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, today published the results of its latest study, which examines the state of artificial intelligence (AI) in the enterprise, including the current perception among business leaders about the technology’s benefits, challenges, and opportunities. Key findings include:
- 93% of business leaders in the UK & Ireland believe humans should be involved in artificial intelligence decision-making
- 69% of respondents in the UK & Ireland are concerned about the timeliness or reliability of the underlying data
- 29% of respondents in the UK & Ireland said they are very confident that AI and ML are being applied ethically in business
- 65% of business leaders in the UK & Ireland are feeling pressure to implement AI at their organisations
- 77% of respondents in the UK & Ireland agree AI and ML helps employees work more efficiently and make better decisions
- 69% respondents in the UK & Ireland said their organisation lacks the skills to fully implement AI and ML
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of business leaders are feeling pressure to implement AI at their organisations, but the vast majority are wary of giving up too much decision-making power. In the survey of 1,000 business decision-makers from around the globe, 93% said it’s important for humans to have oversight of AI or machine learning (ML) when making significant decisions.
"Our latest study confirms that AI & ML are essential for achieving success in the evolving landscape of work – this view is shared by the majority of business leaders globally. However, the organisations face difficulties with deploying these technologies because of skills deficit,” said Jens Löhmar, CTO Continental & DACH, Workday. “Operationalisation of AI & ML Strategies also slows down due to ethical concerns, lack of data integrity and addressing employee fears that these technologies may displace jobs. To effectively embrace AI & ML, it is crucial to prioritise augmentation of human insight & decision making as well as collaborate with vendors who demonstrate a dedication to responsible AI practices and data integrity."
Despite the Case for AI Adoption, Concerns About Ethics and Data Accuracy Remain
More than 90% said they currently use artificial intelligence within their operations for managing people, money, or both, and 80% agree AI and ML helps employees work more efficiently and make better decisions. The need for investment in this area is clear – 80% of respondents agree that AI and ML are required to keep their business competitive.
But despite wide-spread adoption and broad agreement around the case for AI and ML in the enterprise, concerns remain about its accuracy, ethics, and security. In fact, 77% of respondents are concerned about the timeliness or reliability of the underlying data, 39% consider potential bias to be a top risk when considering AI, and 48% cite security and privacy concerns as the main barriers to implementation. Only 29% said they are very confident that AI/ML are being applied ethically in business right now, but they are more optimistic about the future – with more than half (52%) saying they are very confident it will be applied ethically in five years’ time.
Outlook for Workers is Optimistic, But New Skills Will Be Required
Business leaders are considering AI’s impact on the workforce of today and tomorrow. Nearly half (45%) believe AI and ML will benefit workers, augmenting workloads and creating new career paths. 43% are more cautious, warning that AI and ML will replace some tasks, causing some unemployment among workers. 12% are more doubtful, saying that AI and ML will replace humans completely and have a negative impact on workers.
While leaders agree it is critical for humans to be involved in AI decision making, the survey also found a critical skills gap to successful AI implementation. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents said their organisation lacks the skills to fully implement AI and ML, and an even slightly higher percentage (76%) said their own knowledge of AI and ML applications needs improvement.
The full findings from the study identify widespread recognition of the potential for AI to transform enterprise business processes – along with significant gaps in how to get there. To view the full results, visit AI IQ: Insights on Artificial Intelligence in the Enterprise.
For additional information:
- Read more about the survey on the Workday Blog, Workday Research: ‘AI IQ’ Study Reveals Artificial Intelligence Adoption Barriers for Business Leaders
- Learn how Workday is powering the future of work, How AI and ML Are Powering the Future of Work
- Read about Workday’s approach to ethical AI, Workday’s Continued Diligence to Ethical AI and ML Trust
Workday is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, helping customers adapt and thrive in a changing world. Workday applications for financial management, human resources, planning, spend management, and analytics are built with artificial intelligence and machine learning at the core to help organisations around the world embrace the future of work. Workday is used by more than 10,000 organisations around the world and across industries – from medium-sized businesses to more than 50% of the Fortune 500. For more information about Workday, visit workday.com.
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