AI Concerns Plague US Workers, Survey Finds
Concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on job security are on the rise among U.S. workers, according to a recent poll conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA). The survey revealed that many employees are uncomfortable with the way their employers are tracking their activities, and others worry that AI will eventually render their jobs obsolete.
Arthur Evans Jr., CEO of APA, emphasized the need for employers to invest in their employees and educate them about the role of AI while providing opportunities for feedback. He believes that open and honest communication from employers can help alleviate employees’ anxieties and improve overall well-being, ultimately leading to higher organizational performance.
The poll, which surveyed over 2,500 employed adults in the second half of April, found that nearly two in five workers expressed concern that AI might make their job duties obsolete in the future. Those who were worried about AI were also more likely to report feeling tense or stressed during the workday compared to those who were not concerned about its impact.
The survey revealed that workers with a high school education or less were significantly more likely to be worried about their jobs becoming obsolete compared to those with a four-year college degree. Furthermore, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and White workers expressed varying degrees of worry about the potential impact of AI on their jobs, with Black workers being the most concerned at 50%.
The use of technology to monitor employees was another area of concern highlighted by the poll. Approximately 51% of workers across different workplace settings reported that their employers used technology to monitor them on the job. These individuals were more likely to feel uncomfortable with being tracked, experience micromanagement, and feel emotionally exhausted at work compared to those who were not monitored.
The poll also found that workers who were worried about AI were more likely to believe that they did not matter to their employer. Similarly, employees who were monitored on the job reported feeling less valued at work compared to their peers who were not monitored.
The concept of mattering at work, which is one of the Five Essentials outlined in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Framework for Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace, emphasizes the importance of feeling appreciated and valued in the workplace. Employees who feel their work makes a difference in the lives of others often have an increased sense of meaning and are better able to manage stress. Conversely, those who do not feel valued are at risk for stress, irritability, and workplace burnout.
Employers are urged to ensure that any new technologies, including AI, introduced into the workplace enhance rather than diminish employees’ sense of meaning. By paying attention to how technology affects their employees, employers can create a positive work environment and improve overall performance.
In conclusion, the APA poll highlights the growing concerns among U.S. workers regarding AI and its potential impact on job security. Employers must take steps to educate and communicate with their employees about AI while providing opportunities for feedback. Additionally, they should prioritize creating a work environment where employees feel valued and appreciated, as this is crucial for overall well-being and organizational performance.