The majority of employed Americans are worried about the threat AI poses on their jobs. A whopping 74% of respondents to a new survey conducted by Checkr indicated that they foresee AI layoffs hitting the workforce within six months to two years.
In addition to that statistic, 69% of respondents were either affirmative or on the fence about “being afraid to tell their managers about AI use at work for fear of being replaced by the tools they’re using.” Of those 69% of respondents, baby boomers were the least worried, with only 63% being afraid or unsure. millennials led the pack with a 76% positive-or-unsure fear factor.
Furthermore, 79% of surveyed Americans felt pressure to get knowledgeable about AI and the various AI tools available to people, with 89% of millennials confirming they’ve already used AI at work.
In what could be considered the most telling takeaway from the Checkr survey, “67% of American workers — 59% of Boomers, 61% of Gen Xers, 77% of Millennials, and 69% of Gen Zers — said they would spend their own money to enhance AI knowledge to avoid being replaced.”
Respondents’ fears may not be unfounded. As AI tools have been making headlines throughout 2023, so, too, have their impacts on various sectors. For example, the CEO of U.K. energy supplier Octopus Energy recently noted that AI has achieved higher customer service satisfaction ratings than humans, while also handling 250 employees’ worth of work. The CEO didn’t indicate layoffs were on the way as a result of AI’s successes, but the point was clear: There are jobs out there that AI can do better than humans.
Many companies are investing heavily in learning how they can utilize AI to better their businesses, including media powerhouses such as Disney. “Overall, I’m bullish about the prospects because I think they’ll create efficiencies and ways for us to basically provide better services to customers,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger during the earnings call for 2023’s second fiscal quarter.