Management Has an Employee “Trust Issue” With AI

Most managers are positive about AI. Their immediate reports – not so much.

One often overlooked issue when companies deploy artificial technology tools and applications is the reaction they get from employees.

In short, it’s not a generally positive one – especially when it comes to trust.

That’s the takeaway from a new Workday study showing deep skepticism among workers when management goes the artificial intelligence route.

The study concludes there’s a “trust gap” forming inside the company when AI shows up on the premises.

“Business leaders and employees agree that AI holds great opportunities for business transformation,” Pleasanton, Calif.-based Workday stated. “However, there is a lack of trust that it will be deployed responsibly, with employees showing an even deeper level of skepticism than their leadership counterparts.

The numbers tell the story.

Just 62% of managers and executives welcome AI adoption in their organization, and are “confident their organization will ensure AI is implemented in a responsible and trustworthy way.” Simultaneously, only 52% feel the same way.

There’s more.

• 42% of employees believe their company does not have a clear understanding of which systems should be fully automated and which require human intervention.
• 3 in 4 employees say their organization is not collaborating on AI regulation.
• 4 in 5 employees say their company has yet to share guidelines on responsible AI use.

Becoming “Policy Advocates

To regain trust among workers, and even among management, companies that are engaging with artificial intelligence and machine learning platforms need to be fully transparent with all team members and must be active advocates for prudent uses of new technologies.

“There’s no denying that AI holds immense opportunities for business transformation. However, our research shows that leaders and employees lack confidence in, and understanding of, their organizations’ intentions around AI deployment within the workplace,” said Jim Stratton, chief technology officer at Workday. “To help close this trust gap, organizations must adopt a comprehensive approach to AI responsibility and governance, with a lens on policy advocacy to help strike the right balance between innovation and trust.”

Another gap exists between management and staff in companies using AI the right way.

“Leaders and employees want human involvement in AI processes, but are unclear on the best way to do so,” the report stated. “70%) of business leaders agree AI should be developed in a way that easily allows for human review and intervention.”

“However, 42% of employees believe their company does not have a clear understanding of which systems should be fully automated and which require human intervention,” Workday reports.

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