Most biz leaders, workers think AI will help them: Microsoft-IDC study

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New Delhi | May 28, 2019 4:04 AM

The study surveyed 200 business leaders and 202 workers in India.

artificial intelligence, microsoftWhile 77% of business leaders polled agreed that AI is instrumental for their organisation’s competitiveness, only one-third of organisations in India have embarked on their AI journeys.

Employees seem to be more optimistic about retaining their jobs than business leaders despite increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). A survey by Microsoft and IDC has revealed that while 18% business leaders, including c-level executives, feel that AI will replace jobs, only 4% workers or employees think it will replace their jobs. Interestingly, 63% of workers feel that AI will help them do their current jobs even better.

The study found that in India both business leaders and workers hold positive viewpoints about the AI’s impact on the future of jobs. More than a half (64% of business leaders and 63% of workers) believe that AI will either help do their existing jobs better or reduce repetitive tasks.

The study surveyed 200 business leaders and 202 workers in India.

When it comes to creating or replacing jobs, 16% of business leaders believe that AI will create new jobs, but 18% also feel that the technology will replace workers. “Interestingly, workers are more optimistic, with only 4% expecting AI to replace jobs, and 21% to create new ones. At the same time, 12% of workers expect no impact to their jobs in three years from now,” said Ranganath Sadasiva, Director, Enterprise, IDC India.
As per the study, AI is going to create new knowledge-based jobs. The jobs of today will not be the jobs of tomorrow, and already the demand for software engineering roles expand rapidly beyond just the tech sector. AI will more than double the rate of innovation improvements and employee productivity gains in India by 2021.

While 77% of business leaders polled agreed that AI is instrumental for their organisation’s competitiveness, only one-third of organisations in India have embarked on their AI journeys. Those companies that have adopted AI expect it to increase their competitiveness by 2.3 times in 2021.

The study also found that workers are more willing to reskill than business leaders believe they are. As much as 32% of business leaders perceive that workers find it challenging for them to reskill and upskill, but only 12% of workers saw it as a challenge.

“Today, every company is a software company, and increasingly, every interaction is digital. To be successful in this new world, organisations need to be fast adopters of best-in-class technology, including AI,” said Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India.

Srivathsa said Microsoft is working across sectors regarding the AI journey. The US-tech giant has also partnered with Niti Aayog to work on sectors like healthcare, education, agriculture, among others, with AI.
She said the jobs of today will not be the jobs of tomorrow, and they have already seen demand for software engineering roles expand rapidly beyond just the tech sector. However, building an AI-ready workforce does not necessarily mean an acute need for technological skills.

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