We surveyed a small representative example of our customers who have studied leadership and management with us at Level 5 to ask for their views on AI in the workplace.

There has been an explosive global growth in the use of AI – as demonstrated by the recent announcement that Nvidia is now the world’s most valuable company, being worth £2.6tn. Why? Because Nvidia makes the chips necessary to power AI.

We have yet to understand the full impact that AI will have across the globe as it evolves. The effects will be profound – and almost certainly more far-reaching than the advent of the World Wide Web and the Internet. It has already transformed numerous aspects of human life, activities and industries from healthcare and climate modelling to education and economic growth and innovation.

This does not come without risks and ethical concerns. Elon Musk famously declared that AI could be ‘more dangerous than nukes’ while Bill Gates has highlighted the huge benefits as well as the need for careful control and regulatory frameworks.

Impellus survey results

Understanding AI

Our survey found that nearly 67% of respondents have a good understanding of the various ways in which AI can be used. However, in an interesting contrast, nearly 86% of respondents said they had received no training in how to use AI.

Using AI

Almost 67% of our respondents said their organisation was now using AI. The examples given demonstrate the wide-ranging ways in which AI is gradually being adopted, from basic support such as rewording emails to developing question-related data to support call centre responses.

Is AI beneficial for organisations?

Our respondents gave a mixed response when asked how beneficial they think AI is. The majority (just over 38%) said it is ‘slightly beneficial’, while nearly 29% noted that they are not using AI. About a fifth of respondents said AI is ‘hugely beneficial’.

Respondents offered a wide range of views in response to this question. Some commented that further investigation was required before AI could be adopted strategically across their organisation. Others were critical of AI, saying it was used to cut corners.

However, some respondents commented on a number of huge benefits offered by AI such as making long, drawn-out tasks much faster; huge scope for creativity; sifting industry regulations, standards and procedures; and helping with fast and efficient audit compliance in the financial sector.

Are job roles affected?

Just over half of respondents said that AI was not affecting anyone’s role in their organisation.

One respondent noted that AI would not replace staff roles but would allow staff to work on other tasks. Others noted:

  • Their call centre staff would benefit from the extra help provided by AI.
  • Data processing had been streamlined and improved.
  • Client care had been enhanced as AI had made time-consuming report and presentation creation much faster.

Ethical concerns

Nearly 67% of respondents said they had ethical or moral concerns about the use of AI. Major worries included the fear that people will be replaced; plagiarism; data security; client confidentiality; misinformation being provided; and conscious/unconscious bias.

Looking to the future

An overwhelming 86% of our respondents believe that AI will offer their organisation opportunities for improvement and advancement in the future. Streamlining tasks, improving efficiency and saving time were often quoted as well as the ability to provide real-time data analysis for clients.

The jury is out…

Our survey revealed just how much people’s views about AI differ. One respondent noted that they were strongly against the use of AI within the creative industries but had to be realistic, with the key being to look at ‘how this can be done smartly’.

However, another respondent said that we all need to be a bit braver about AI, despite the risks, and that we are too focused on the problems, lacking the courage to explore the benefits.