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UK lags behind US on AI adoption at work

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Research reveals disparity in adoption rates

The latest findings from Asana’s Work Innovation Lab reveal that while 46% of American office workers integrate AI into their roles on a weekly basis, only 29% of their British counterparts do the same.

In contrast to the UK’s ambition to become a hub for AI safety, as declared by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in June, it appears that UK workers are exhibiting less confidence in embracing this technology.

According to the study, 30% of British workers worry about being perceived as lazy if they incorporate AI at work, whereas only 20% of American workers share the same concern.

This hesitancy among UK workers aligns with their leaders’ perspective as well. US companies are nearly twice as likely to provide AI training to their employees compared to their UK counterparts.

Within the survey, 22% of American companies indicated that they offer training with AI tools, while only 13% of UK companies reported doing the same.

Angelina Gentili, the head of people operations at Personio, emphasised the responsibility of HR leaders to facilitate the transition of employees into a future workplace that heavily involves AI. She stressed the importance of communication regarding AI’s purpose and benefits, fostering confidence and addressing any concerns employees might have.

Gentili also highlighted HR’s role in aiding business leaders in identifying areas ripe for AI implementation to enhance efficiency. Addressing data privacy and policies emerged as a pivotal aspect of this transition. Saket Srivastava, Chief Information Officer at Asana, described this period as a new phase for AI’s role in workplaces, acknowledging certain employee reservations about its perception among peers and managers.

To navigate this shift, Srivastava asserted that employees require clear guidelines, specialised training, and accessible technologies. He stressed that organizations that succeed in this endeavor will harness AI to unlock new dimensions of human creativity.

Asana’s comprehensive report, “The State of AI at Work,” sourced insights from over 4,546 workers in the US and UK, with the UK contributing more than 2,000 responses. The survey took place in July 2023.


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