Despite the popular belief that organizations value artificial intelligence (AI) at the expense of the individuals they employ, and that AI-powered automation may lead to the displacement of workers, 60% of employees see AI as an employee and not a job threat . And organizations with employees who get value from AI are 5.9 times more likely to see significant financial benefits from it than organizations where employees don’t get value from AI,
These are key results of a report by MIT Sloan Management Review (WITH SMR) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), entailed Achieving Individual—and Organizational—Value With AI. It presents findings from the sixth consecutive research effort between WITH SMR and BCG on artificial intelligence and business strategy. It includes results from a global survey of 1,741 managers, and interviews with 17 executives, representing more than 100 countries and 20 industries, about the use of AI at work. According to the report, individuals gain personal value from AI when they use the technology, improving their self-determination, which includes their competence, autonomy and relatedness.
“AI use in business is now pervasive. Many technologies have embedded, even hidden, AI components that workers may not even be aware of. When everyone uses AI to some degree – and gets value from it – familiar tropes become problematic,” said Sam Ransbotham, professor of analytics at Boston College and guest editor for the MIT SMR Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy Big Ideas Research Initiative. “For example, the idea that managers who use AI will replace managers who don’t use AI loses meaning when everyone uses AI.”
Understanding the extent of AI at work
AI use is so pervasive that individual workers take some of its applications for granted. According to the findings, 66% of individuals report that they do not use AI or use it only minimally. But when asked with specific examples of AI-enhanced business applications, such as office productivity applications, calendar planners, and customer relationship management software, 43% of these respondents admit that they regularly or occasionally use business products with AI. (See picture 1.)
“If individuals do not know that they are using AI, they naturally have a harder time recognizing its value,” said François Candelon, global director of the BCG Henderson Institute and co-author of the report. “But our research shows that employees who consciously use AI are 1.6 times more likely to receive individual value and 1.8 times more likely to be satisfied with their jobs than those who don’t realize they’re using AI.”
Mandating the use of AI is a critical step in overcoming resistance
Interviewees and survey interviewees cited that the mandate of the use of AI is an important first step to overcome resistance. Making AI use mandatory triples the likelihood of its use: individuals who use AI at work are three times more likely to use the technology regularly than those not required to use it professionally. But managers should still ensure that individuals have agency. Individuals who can override AI are 2.1 times more likely to use AI regularly compared to those who cannot override it. Furthermore, managers who lead by example by using AI with their teams are 3.4 times more likely to encourage regular AI use among individual team members than managers who do not.
“Trust is just one factor driving AI adoption: Desire to use it. Seeing your boss use it. Having the ability to override it. These all contribute to adoption, especially in the early stages of AI deployment David Kiron notes, WITH SMR Editorial director and co-author of the report.
The impact of AI on job satisfaction, competence, and employee interaction
According to the report, 64% percent of the survey respondents personally receive at least a moderate value from the use of AI. These workers are 3.4 times more likely to be satisfied in their jobs than employees who get no value from AI. Only 8% of global survey respondents are less satisfied with their jobs because of AI.
Individuals who receive AI-based suggestions to improve their performance are 1.8 times more likely to feel more competent in their roles than those who do not. In addition, employees who work in organizations that invest in AI, which improves the quality of decision-making for issues such as operational planning, inventory management, and marketing return on investment (ROI), are 1.5 times more likely to individually value AI to be seen in comparison with those. which are in organizations that do not invest in this type of AI.
In addition to helping employees feel more capable in their work performance, the survey revealed that many respondents feel that the use of AI will improve interactions with their team members (56%), with their managers (47%) and has improved with other people in their departments. (52%).
“To reap the financial and organizational benefits of AI, managers must foster a virtuous cycle of use and value at the individual level by cultivating trust, understanding, agency and awareness of the technology,” said Shervin Khodabandeh, a senior Partner and Managing Director. at BCG, co-leader of GAMMA in North America, and co-author of the report. “The relationship between individual and organizational value of AI is additive, not zero-sum.”