Half of C-Level Execs Say AI Will Replace Them

While corporate finance leaders seem bullish on artificial intelligence and how it can drive business processes higher, there’s a significantly darker side to the AI story.

The emerging consensus among U.S. C-suite executives is that AI represents a direct threat to their livelihoods.

There’s data to back that sentiment up.

According to a new study on CFOs and artificial intelligence by edX Enterprise, a technology-based workplace management platform, 47% of C-suite executives believe AI will likely replace their jobs one day.

Perhaps more surprisingly, about 90% of senior executives say at least “some” of their tasks will be one day taken over by AI.

Here’s more from the study:

— While executives are embracing AI, many are concerned about falling behind. “79% fear that if they don’t learn how to use AI, they’ll be unprepared for the future of work,” the study reports.

— AI proficiency could provide a considerable career boost. Most executives believe workers who are skilled at using AI should be paid more (82%) and promoted more often (74%).

— Most companies are finding it difficult to get ahead of this trend. “87% of the C-Suite say they’re struggling to find talent with AI skills, and 77% say AI is disrupting their business strategy,” edX Enterprise says.

The downcast view on humans being replaced by AI-bots filters down to the rank and file, with 56% of executives believing entry-level jobs in key areas like corporate finance, marketing, and human resources will be outsourced, to AI, as well.

Strange Balance

That’s not all.

The dichotomy between C-level executives who actively look for help from artificial intelligence tools and systems while believing their jobs are in peril stands out to study researchers.

“With more companies moving full speed ahead toward an AI-driven workplace, leaders are faced with an important decision: Embrace AI or be left behind,” said edX for Business head Andy Morgan. “While there are many ways executives can adapt their business, offering an outcomes-based learning and development program should be a central part of the long-term strategy to integrate AI.”

The best way forward for C-suite executives unsure of how to proceed with AI? As usual, getting educated is critical – perhaps more than senior execs may think.

“Although most C-Suite executives recognize that AI can benefit their business, savvy leaders know that AI can support them in their own roles as well,” says Dan Schawbel, managing partner for workplace intelligence at edX for Business. “Executives who take steps to become proficient with AI will be better equipped to make decisions that will position their companies for success in today’s ever-evolving business landscape.”

Perhaps those steps will lead to some career preservation, too.

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