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Gen Z staff admit to pretending they have used AI tool

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Young workers struggle with AI overwhelm, LinkedIn survey reveals

A recent survey has revealed that 40% of young professionals admit to exaggerating their knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI) to appear more informed. This research, conducted by LinkedIn, highlights a trend particularly prevalent among Gen Z workers, aged 18 to 26, who are 10% more likely than the general population to embellish their familiarity with AI tools in their workplace.

Within the Gen Z demographic, nearly half express feelings of overwhelm regarding AI technology, coupled with concerns about falling behind their peers. A significant 41% worry that their colleagues possess a superior understanding of AI.

LinkedIn’s data indicates a noteworthy global surge, with a 21-fold increase in English-language job listings mentioning new AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, since November of the previous year. Approximately 17 out of every 1,000 workers on the platform can be classified as “AI talent.”

Charlotte Davies, a career expert and the group manager of consumer communications at LinkedIn, observed, “In the wake of the pandemic, professionals are once again adapting to a new wave of change as AI gains prominence in the workplace. It’s understandable that keeping pace with these developments can be overwhelming. Young professionals have weathered significant changes in recent years, from the pandemic’s disruption to the emergence of AI, both of which have profound implications for our professional lives.”

Interestingly, older professionals in the Gen X age category, ranging from 43 to 58, appear to be less concerned with feigning AI expertise. Roughly 18% of Gen X professionals admit to pretending to be more knowledgeable about AI than they actually are, while 25% feel that their colleagues possess superior AI knowledge.

Gen Z workers are most likely to have engaged with AI technology, with 82% having tried it, in contrast to only 38% of Gen X professionals. The primary AI forms currently accessible include generative text and image models such as ChatGPT and Midjourney.


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