‘One in three workers fear AI could take their jobs’

30 October 2023, 10:54

A person using a laptop
Cyber attacks. Picture: PA

A survey found 32% of adults in work worry that technology could put their jobs at risk, while 28% think it could make their jobs easier.

Around one in three Britons are worried that artificial intelligence (AI) could take their jobs away, but a similar proportion think it will improve their access to healthcare, new figures suggest.

The Office for National Statistics found that 32% of adults in work fear the technology might put their jobs at risk.

Those in administrative and secretarial roles (43%) and sales and customer service jobs (41%) are the most likely to be concerned that AI could take over.

Meanwhile, 28% of those questioned said AI could make their jobs easier. This was particularly the case for those in professional (41%) and managerial (34%) jobs.

One respondent said: “It will be used for corporate purposes, to make money for shareholders or to cut costs. Either way, the average consumer is not the main consideration.”

Another said: “Where I work, we have self-service tills. These are taking jobs off people, plus theft is higher. They also raise stress levels in the workplace.”

The ONS also found that 31% of the 12,511 people it surveyed think AI will improve their access to healthcare.

Other reported benefits could be in shopping experiences (27%) and access to learning or education (25%).

The survey found that older generations are more cautious about the technology, often saying they have little understanding of it.

One respondent said: “As a retired person, I am not sure that I would make much use of it.”

Another said she dislikes speaking to software rather than real people.

The woman, who is in the 50-69 age group, said: “I would prefer to interact with humans – interacting with AIs makes me feel unimportant and lonely.”

The survey found that 17% of people think they can often or always tell when they are using artificial intelligence.

Men are more likely to think they are able to tell, as are younger people and those with a degree.

More than half (55%) of those aged 70 or over said they are hardly ever or never able to tell when they are using AI.

By Press Association

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