Personality traits dictate AI acceptance within the workplace

Enthusiasm about enterprise AI negated by employee concerns over skills and making mistakes.

  • 3 months ago Posted in

Research published by SnapLogic, a leader in intelligent integration and enterprise automation, reveals attitudes towards AI in the workplace are guided by individuals’ personality traits. The survey, conducted by Censuswide, included responses from nearly 1,000 mid-senior management workers within large enterprises across the UK, US and Australia.

All survey respondents showed a good grasp of AI’s benefits: over half (54%) of respondents said they thought using AI would save them time; 46% said it would improve their productivity, and 37% said it would reduce risk and errors in their work.

Respondents also revealed the main factors that would make them more likely to use AI in their role, either now or in the future: 42% wanted a better understanding of how AI would specifically benefit them in their role, while 36% wanted a safety net to reduce the risk that they would make mistakes.

However, respondents’ personality scores revealed the underlying traits that dictated their views on AI. Respondents who scored low on the extraversion scale were more likely to embrace AI and have fewer concerns about using it – compared to their high-extraversion colleagues, who expressed more reservations. Those who scored high on agreeableness and ‘openness to experience’ were more likely to worry about making mistakes when using AI.

Nearly two-thirds (66%) of respondents like the idea of using AI in their role, either currently or in the future. However, respondents believe skills are an issue, with one-third (34%) of respondents claiming there are very few people within their organisation with the skills required to implement and use AI. 39% said it would be hard to get everyone in their organisation to fully adopt AI; while 19% were worried that they would not be able to work out how to use AI properly.

Compared to US and Australian respondents, UK respondents were slightly behind on some points. UK respondents were less likely to use AI in their current role (56% vs an average of 62%). UK respondents were less inclined to welcome the idea of using AI in their role, either currently or in future (61% vs an average of 66%, with Australians leading the way at 72%). UK organisations are, according to respondents, less likely to have the skills required to implement and use AI – with 41% agreeing with this statement, vs an average of 34%.

Jeremiah Stone, CTO of SnapLogic, said: “The current business landscape is unpredictable, and that puts pressure on budgets and resources. Business processes are adapting to a turbulent environment by using AI in very specific, practical ways to improve productivity. The biggest change is in mindset – seeing AI as a team mate, not a tool, working to support its more ‘senior’, human colleagues, who in turn mentor and coach it to reduce errors and improve its output.”

Stone continued: “Some employees may have reservations about AI in the workplace, but the reality is that AI is already reshaping the way we work. To stay competitive, businesses need an empathic understanding of employees’ reservations so they can address them constructively.”

Business psychologist Danni Haig added: “Humans tend to cling onto information and behaviours that they know, which means they often reject new ways of working or adopting new skills. IT and business leaders should be understanding about AI scepticism and have a clear plan in place to address it, otherwise much-needed change is far less likely to happen.”

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