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Humans vs Machines: Business leaders in favour of automation but employees fear for their jobs

In times where technology is transforming drastically, AI has provided ways businesses can maintain duties that require a lot of organisation.

By CBR Staff Writer

The majority of business leaders think that artificial intelligence (AI) will augment jobs rather than replace them, but there is conflicting comparison with how workers feel.

Although there is evidence for automation assisting employees, many feel increasing automation will cause them to lose their jobs.

Recent research by Avanade highlighted the need for organisations to adopt intelligent automation within the next three years to maximise their productivity. This includes expanding their potential by differentiating from one another to compete using diverse methods of AI innovation.

Consumer respondents (60%) said that intelligent automation is more likely to replace jobs than create them. However, 79% of respondents acknowledged that technology in the work place often makes employees resilient to these changes.


Avanade CEO Adam Warby said that business leaders recognise the potential for intelligent automation to accelerate productivity by driving more value from data, and freeing employees from mundane, repetitive tasks to focus on activities that require human intervention and/or add value like innovation.

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“However, while global business leaders have moved beyond the humans vs. machines fear factor, employees are yet to be convinced. To remain relevant, leaders need a vision for the AI-first world and must educate employees on the potential of intelligent automation to drive unprecedented personal and professional capabilities,” Said Warby

The research found that more than half of global business leaders are confident that artificial intelligence will augment and expand current workforces rather than replace jobs.  In times where technology is transforming drastically, AI has provided ways businesses can maintain duties that require a lot of organisation.

Almost two thirds (60%) of business leaders surveyed believe that an understanding of new and emerging technologies, with the ability to manage an augmented workforce (53%) will be more important for leadership than sales and marketing. This includes (86%) global business leaders believing their organisation must deploy intelligent automation within the next five years to be a significant leader within their field.

Automation is set to be the vital technology trend that will offer new opportunities whilst allowing businesses to outperform against competition and overcome technical challenges. Consumers that were surveyed by Avanade in the UK, US and Germany agreed with business leaders (43%) that intelligent automation will allow employees to spend more time on complex tasks.

Read More: IT directors divided on AI and automation – tech to create or displace jobs?

Many organisations (31%) are already using intelligent automation, and that number is set to increase to more than double by 2020. This evidently demonstrates how AI is transforming business industries globally.

There is clear indication to suggest that automation is assisting businesses and workforces in different ways, this includes global business leaders claiming the top benefits of intelligent automation is productivity (50%) and time for increased marketing (45%).

The research consisted of an online survey that was conducted from May to June 2017 by independent research firm, Wakefield Research. It surveyed 400 C-level executives, and 400 IT decision Makers in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, Germany, Japan, and Sweden. A total of 3,000 consumers (1,000 per market) were also surveyed in Germany, the US and UK.

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