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A survey from BT has revealed that opinion among the IT community is split on the topic of AI and automation in the workplace.

According to a third of survey respondents, AI and automation is already being implemented and many places are planning to invest in it in the future. A third of organisations plan to invest in automation and AI over the next two years.

62% of those planning to invest say that their company will become more effective as a result of embracing automation and AI. 63% describe technologies like the use of robots, drones and autonomous vehicles as “very beneficial”.

One-third said that they believe it will create more jobs in the future. This is despite many reports and findings suggesting major job losses as a result of AI. AI could end up generating new working opportunities for algorithm designers, software engineers and programmers as well as create new job titles.

However, around a third of people have said that they’re expecting job losses at their companies. Manual or repetitive jobs are most likely to be replaced by robots.


Public vs private sector

95% of organisations from the public sector are already using one type of AI technology at least. This is compared to 85% of companies from the private sector.

Half of public sector companies have implemented big data analysis, compared to 42% of private sector organisations doing the same. Larger companies say they are the most concerned in the private sector about AI.

AI concerns

One of the biggest barriers to companies using automation or AI is IT security concerns.  44% of companies in the public sector believe that AI will make them more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Only 28% in the private sector believe this though.

Colm O’Neill, managing director of major corporates and the public sector at BT said: “This research gives us a fascinating insight into the early adoption of AI, automation and other disruptive technologies in the UK workplace.

“The findings illustrate the rapid pace of technological change amongst organisations of all types and sizes. And while some organisations clearly view disruptive technologies as a potential threat to the labour market, we believe the introduction of new automated technologies and business processes will play to the strengths of both people and machines.

“A good example of this is where BT’s world leading security team is using Machine Assisted Cyber Threat Hunting to proactively identify cyber security threats. This combines AI and big data techniques with the use of human analysts who are critical in providing the context and judgement needed to distinguish between anomalous and malicious activity.”


Where do you sit in the debate? Are you concerned or eager to implement AI in the workplace? Let us know your thoughts.

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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