Pew Research Center, A nonpartisan think tank that tracks public opinion, released a report today How workers feel about AI.
Technology has become an increasingly common workplace fixture over the past few years. And its role is likely to grow as AI becomes more capable, thanks to advances such as larger language models like GPT-4, which gave us ChatGPT and a growing number of other tools.
While there’s no shortage of reports about people’s attitudes toward AI, Pew’s data is quite large and relatively fresh, drawn from 11,004 US adults who were consulted between December 12 and 18 last year — OK Just as the ChatGPT craze was finally taking hold after it was released. November’s
The report suggests that most employers expect AI to transform hiring, firing, and evaluation. Many people report that they are feeling uncertain about what those changes might look like, and are concerned about the potential effects of AI.
Nearly 68 percent of those surveyed said they expect AI to have a major impact on jobseekers over the next 20 years. Curiously though, only 28 percent said they thought AI would affect them personally, while 38 percent were unsure what the consequences of their own work might be.
Those responses reflect the fact that no one really knows how AI will change jobs and work in the years to come. Technology is rapidly evolving, and its impact often varies greatly between industries and even roles.
However, we can expect the existing uses of the technology to expand and become more sophisticated. Some employers already use AI to help screen job applicants, while enterprising job hunters seek to outwit the algorithms with clever tricks. In theory, AI technology has the potential to make hiring fairer and increase workplace diversity. But in practice it has sometimes done the opposite, prompting the US government to warn employers about the potential for algorithms to discriminate against people with disabilities.
The Pew survey paints a contradictory picture, with 47 percent saying they think AI will do a better job than humans in recruiting, but 41 percent opposing the use of AI in recruiting.
Workplace surveillance is an area of common concern, with 81 percent of those surveyed saying that greater use of AI would leave workers feeling inappropriately watched.
Courtesy of Pew Research Center