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Survey reveals generational divide when it comes to AI and career outlook

Tan KW
Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 11:51 AM
Tan KW
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How artificial intelligence will impact employment concretely in the long term remains difficult to assess, but that doesn’t mean working people aren’t taking an interest in this fast-growing technology. However, some categories of employees seem more interested in this subject than others, as a new global survey from LinkedIn reveals.

Unsurprisingly, the results reveal that younger workers are more enthusiastic about AI than their older colleagues. Some 52% of millennials and 48% of Generation Z believe that this technological advance will enable them to get their careers off the ground more quickly, by facilitating their access to knowledge. This, they believe, will help them gain confidence in the professional sphere.

These younger employees’ hopes for the potential of artificial intelligence are driving them to perfect their knowledge of the subject. For example, Brits belonging to Generation Z are twice as likely as baby boomers to want to learn about AI tools.

This can be seen as good news, given that experts believe that employees with the least experience in the matter will be the hardest hit by the arrival of this technology in the workplace. Indeed, many employers are entrusting less complex tasks (writing up meeting minutes, research work, etc) to new recruits so that they can “get the hang of it”. However, these tasks can easily be automated, raising questions about the long-term viability of positions held by junior profiles.

Men more interested than women

Companies would benefit from training their young employees in AI solutions to help them gain expertise and, therefore, productivity. But they rarely do. They tend to focus their efforts on Baby Boomers and members of Generation X, who are seen as less technologically savvy than their younger counterparts.

LinkedIn’s report suggests that they are partially right in this regard, highlighting the fact that these two categories of workers are the most likely to see their jobs evolve positively thanks to recent advances in artificial intelligence.

The same study highlights another divide in the working population regarding the arrival of this technology in the world of work - concerning men and women. Men are responsible for the majority of publications mentioning AI or “machine learning”, posted on LinkedIn between December 2022 and September 2023.

What’s more, men seem more determined than women to quickly fill their knowledge or skill gaps in the realm of AI. Some 40% of them say they have already tested AI software, compared with 34% of the women surveyed. This gap is even more pronounced in the US: 52% of men have begun to use these tools, while only 31% of their female counterparts have done so.

But both men and women feel equally overwhelmed by the scale of change that artificial intelligence could bring to their working lives - and in a short timeframe. Indeed, two-thirds of respondents, regardless of gender, believe that AI will change the way they work during 2024.

 - AFP Relaxnews

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