Worldwide employers are concerned about the security of AI

  • Business Advice
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Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

As AI becomes a large player worldwide, a survey of over 79,000 global cited security concerns as their biggest fear behind using it. The survey, completed by companies in five countries – Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK was carried out by Peninsula Group, a global employment law, HR, Health & Safety advisory, and consultancy firm.

The results serve as a fantastic insight into businesses' views and opinions surrounding AI, and the impact it could possibly have in the future.

What are the main concerns employers have about AI?

The overriding concern employers have about the use of AI in their company is security reasons. This may be down to the fear of the unknown.

37% of companies in Ireland stated security reasons as their main concern. The lowest number came from the UK with 26%, with Australia, Canada, and New Zealand having 31%, 30%, and 30% respectively.

These results show that many employers don’t trust AI, with more research needing to be done before implementation.

How many companies are currently using AI?

Another stand-out result that came from the survey was the number of companies that currently aren’t using AI in their business. This shows a pattern with the above results regarding concerns in using it.

Over 70% of companies in the UK aren’t currently using AI. The other countries also registered high numbers, 67% of companies in Canada don’t use it, with 64%, 63%, and 59% in New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland. There’s a clear concern from companies around the world in bringing AI daily.

What functions are companies using AI for?

Even though the number of global companies using AI wasn’t high, questions were asked in the survey, if it’s part of your business – what is it being used for?

Interestingly, there were two stand-out answers to this question. Half of the companies in Canada (50% and Ireland (50%), confirmed AI is being used for administrative tasks with 49% of Australian companies answering the same. Businesses in the UK (50%) and New Zealand (22%) stated it’s being used for creative writing purposes.

Although these results don’t show a definitive answer for the way AI will be used in business, it makes clear that it can be used for a range of functions within a company setting.

Do companies feel like AI will reduce the number of employees?

One of the main debates surrounding the use of AI in companies is the long-standing impact it may have on employees. However, the results from the survey clearly point out that many businesses still feel that their employees cannot be replaced.

The largest proportion of businesses that think people are irreplaceable is in New Zealand, where just over half of companies agreed (52%). With 45% of Australian companies agreeing, and 42%, 37% in the UK and Canada.

Surprisingly, only 29% of Irish businesses surveyed agreed with this. 35% of them are currently unsure of the impact AI will have on the number of people employed.

What has the impact of AI been for companies that are currently using it?

Globally, over half of the businesses that undertook the survey are unsure or feel it’s too early to tell of AI’s impact. 30% of company owners were unsure, with 23% stating it’s too early to know the real impact.

However, there was a caveat in results from companies in the UK. Somewhat surprisingly, 43% of businesses found AI has had a positive impact, aiding company productivity. Australia, Canada, and New Zealand returned 23%, 18.4%, and 17% for the same question – could this be a sign of things to come?

What does the survey say about the state of play for AI in businesses?

The overriding feelings that come out of the survey show there’s a clear security concern behind the use of AI in companies, with many not choosing to use it as of yet.

However it’s still early days for AI in companies, and who knows – people who thought it was to tell of AI’s impact, could yet find it to be positive. Especially if it can be used to carry out a range of functions with a business.

But, it’s clear many business owners think their employees are irreplaceable – showing that there’s much deliberation to be had over the use of AI. Watch this space. 

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