Despite the popular belief that organizations derive value from artificial intelligence (AI) at the expense of the people they employ, and that AI-powered automation could displace workers, 60% of employees see AI as a companion and not. job threat. And organizations whose employees derive value from AI are 5.9 times more likely to see significant financial benefits than organizations whose employees do not.
These are the key findings of the report MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), eligible Achieving personal—and organizational—value with AI. This meanwhile presents findings from the sixth consecutive research effort MIT SMR and BCG on Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy. It includes the results of 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 in the workplace. According to the report, individuals derive personal value from AI when using the technology, improving their self-determination, including their competence, autonomy and relatedness.
“The use of AI in business is now widespread. Many technologies also have embedded, even hidden, AI components that workers may not even be aware of. When everyone is using AI to some degree—and deriving value from it—familiar tropes become problematic,” said Sam Ransbotham, professor of analytics at Boston College and guest editor of 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 scope of AI at work
The use of AI is so widespread that individual workers may assume some of its applications. According to the findings, 66% of people report that they do not use AI or use it very little. But when pointed to specific examples of AI-enhanced business applications, such as office productivity applications, calendar schedulers and customer relationship management software, 43% of these respondents admitted that they regularly or occasionally use business products with AI. (See Figure 1.)
“When individuals don’t know they’re using AI, it’s hard for them to recognize its value,” said Francois Candelon, global director of the BCG Henderson Institute and co-author of the report. “But our research shows that employees who intentionally use AI are 1.6 times more likely to experience personal value and 1.8 times more likely to be satisfied with their jobs than those who don’t understand we use AI.”
Mandating the use of AI is an important step in overcoming resistance
Interviewees and survey respondents noted that mandating the use of AI is an important initial step in overcoming resistance. Mandating the use of AI triples the likelihood of its use: Individuals who are required to use AI in the workplace are three times more likely to use the technology regularly than those who are not required to use it professionally. But managers must still ensure that individuals have agency. People who can override AI are 2.1 times more likely to use AI regularly than people who cannot override it. Furthermore, managers who lead by example using AI with their teams are 3.4 times more likely to engage individual team members than managers who do not regularly use AI.
“Trust is a factor in AI adoption: it needs to be used. Seeing your boss use it. Having the ability to override it. All of these contribute to adoption, especially at the early stages of AI deployments,” noted David Kieron. MIT SMR Editorial director and co-author of the report.
The Impact of AI on Job Satisfaction, Competence, and Cooperative Interaction
According to the report, 64% of survey respondents personally derive at least moderate value from using AI. These workers are 3.4 times more likely to be satisfied with their jobs than employees who do not perceive 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 competent in their roles than those who do not. Furthermore, employees working at organizations that invest in AI for things like operations scheduling, inventory management and marketing return on investment (ROI) are 1.5 times more likely to perceive personal value from AI than those that do. Those are in organizations that aren’t investing in this type of AI.
In addition to helping employees feel more empowered in their job performance, the survey found that many respondents feel that using AI has improved communication with their team members (56%), their managers (47%) and others 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 developing trust, understanding, agency and awareness of the technology,” said Sherwin Khodabandeh, Senior Partner and Managing Director. At BCG, co-author of GAMMA in North America and co-author of the report. “The relationship between individual and organizational value in AI is additive, not zero-sum.”