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  • Survey reveals UK AI skills gap and how it could impact marketing

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    A survey of 2,000 UK workers commissioned by digital marketing agency Add People shows that the majority of people in the UK have never used AI at work.

    The poll, conducted by OnePoll, reveals that 70% of UK workers have never used AI tools at work. Given that the UK is aiming to brand itself as a world leader in AI technology, with Rishi Sunak organising an AI summit at the beginning of November, Add People says it’s surprising to discover that the majority of Brits are yet to experiment with tools like ChatGPT in their workflow.

    Here, Peter Marshall, chief marketing officer at Add People, discusses some of the other findings of the survey and what they could mean for the UK’s position on AI….

    As a digital marketing agency, many of our staff have started to experiment with AI tools to support their daily work tasks. While we can see that they are certainly not in a position to replace the work of actual humans, there are many uses for these tools that would bring great benefits to workers in every industry.

    2 in 5 people think they will use AI tools in the future

    The study also found that Only 38% of people believe they are likely to use AI tools in the future, with 34% of respondents deeming it unlikely. Despite ChatGPT reaching 100 million users in the second-fastest time for any app, it’s still not properly utilised in the workplace.

    This suggests that many workers need to be made aware of how to use them effectively and potentially whether they are allowed to use them for work. Some solutions to this are training sessions, establishing AI champions at work to pioneer processes and establishing guidelines for how and when to use AI tools.

    Only a quarter of people trust AI

    Trust in AI is a major issue, particularly at work as an issue with generative AI reflects badly on the person using it. Longform results from ChatGPT and Google’s Bard aren’t of the highest quality and some initial experimentation by workers may have led to a loss of interest.

    To be good at anything takes practice and the same can be said of AI. Encouraging your staff to experiment with these tools and report back on their results could help them discover new and effective ways of utilising the tools in their day-to-day lives.

    14% of businesses have officially implemented AI tools

    Though we’re still in the early stages of generative AI, some hesitance to use it at work could be compounded by silence from senior management on when and how to use it. Our survey also found that a third of people who have used AI did so without their boss knowing.

    To encourage use of generative AI that is supportive of productivity without affecting the quality of work, some policies or guidelines around what kind of tasks can be completed, what kind of information shouldn’t be shared, etc. can be helpful for your staff.

    Given that 60% of people want AI regulation in the workplace, this is a chance for businesses to get ahead of the game and showcase themselves as innovators.

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien