Most Employees Haven’t Used AI, Don’t Trust the Tech: Report


AI’s impact on small businesses so far has been limited, with a June U.S. Census Bureau survey showing that only 5% of U.S. businesses are using the technology. Now, a new study from workplace messaging app Slack suggests that lack of trust in AI could be partly to blame.

Slack surveyed more than 10,000 people in the U.S., Australia, France, Germany, Japan, and the U.K. between March 6 and March 22 for its latest June Workforce Index report and found that almost all surveyed executives (96%) felt pressure to bring AI into their business. AI innovation, meanwhile, was a higher-priority concern than inflation or the economy.

But even if most executives want to use AI at their companies, many desk workers may not be interested. About 68% reported not using AI at all.

“Companies have urgent, ambitious goals for AI in the enterprise and our research shows there are huge productivity benefits to be gained—but many leaders are still figuring out how to kickstart adoption among employees,” Denise Dresser, CEO of Slack, stated in the report.

The problem is that only 7% of U.S. desk workers see AI answers as completely trustworthy. Over a third (35%) say that AI results are not at all or only slightly trustworthy.

Related: Most Employees Are Secretly Using AI Tools At Work: Report

Allison Giddens, a co-president at 41-employee aerospace manufacturing company Win-Tech, told The New York Times on Monday that ChatGPT, an AI chatbot from OpenAI, sometimes gives her off-base answers.

She also has to be careful about what she tells ChatGPT, because of the importance of cybersecurity in her field. She also has to remind herself with a note taped to her computer monitor to use the AI chatbot to help write emails and analyze data.

“We have to get in the habit of actually using the tool,” Giddens told the Times.

Related: JPMorgan Says Its AI Cashflow Tool Cut Human Work Almost 90%

Giddens isn’t alone. Privacy, data quality, and accuracy concerns are the top three reasons stopping desk workers from experimenting with AI, according to the Slack survey.

Workers who have used AI score 3% higher for productivity, 5% higher for ability to manage stress, and 6% higher for job satisfaction.

Desk workers are experimenting with AI more than ever, even if overall use is low.

The U.S. has seen the highest percentage growth in desk workers using AI since September, with a growth rate of nearly 80%.

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