HR must do more to match employees’ expectations of AI, finds Oracle

Despite reservations, Oracle found that nine in 10 employees would accept orders from a robot.

There is a huge gulf between how people use artificial intelligence (AI) at home and at work, according to a study of US employees and HR leaders by software company Oracle.

It found that 70% of people use some form of AI in their personal life, while only 24% of employees use some form of AI at work. Just 6% of HR professionals have actively deployed AI.

Despite this gulf, more than nine in 10 employees would trust orders from a “robot”, according to Oracle.

Both HR professionals and employees felt that AI would improve productivity. Almost two-thirds (59%) of employees said that AI would make operations more efficient, 45% thought it would reduce costs, and 40% believed it would enable better customer experiences. More than a third (37%) thought it would improve employee experience.

HR leaders said there would be a positive impact of AI on learning and development (27%), performance management (26%), payroll (18%) and recruitment and employee benefits (13%).

But while employees and HR professionals can see the potential benefits of AI, there are concerns about adjusting to a more automated workplace.

Almost 90% of HR leaders felt they weren’t empowered to bridge a growing AI skills gap, and just under three-quarters did not offer any kind of AI training programme.

At the same time, 51% of employees worried they would not be able to adjust to the rapid adoption of these technologies.

Other concerns about adopting AI included the cost of implementation, the possibility it might fail, and security risks.

That said, 79% of HR leaders and 60% of employees believed that a failure to adopt AI would have negative consequences on their own careers, their colleagues and the organisation as a whole.

“As this study shows, people are not afraid of AI taking their jobs and instead want to be able to quickly and easily take advantage of the latest innovations,” said Emily He, senior vice president of Oracle’s Human Capital Management Cloud Business Group.

“To help employees embrace AI, organisations should partner with their HR leaders to address the skill gap and focus their IT strategy on embedding simple and powerful AI innovations into existing business processes.”

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