Employees are increasingly getting 'AI Anxious' — they're worried about falling behind on AI and even pretending to be 'in the know' to colleagues


According to a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, employees worldwide are experiencing a growing sense of anxiety about falling behind on AI advancements in the workplace. The survey, which involved almost 30,000 participants from 18 different countries, revealed that 49% of respondents worry that they should have a greater understanding of AI. Additionally, nearly 40% expressed feeling overwhelmed by their inability to keep up with AI developments, while 56% admitted to lacking knowledge about how to utilize AI in their work. Interestingly, a significant portion of those surveyed (nearly 40%) admitted to pretending to be more knowledgeable about AI than they actually were in order to appear "in the know" in front of their colleagues.

The rise of AI tools like ChatGPT has contributed to this increasing anxiety among employees, as they fear potential job displacement. A study conducted by Goldman Sachs in March suggests that AI could disrupt over 300 million jobs worldwide, with generative AI potentially replacing up to a quarter of tasks performed by human employees. Furthermore, a study by the International Labour Organization found that administrative workers and women are particularly vulnerable to being replaced by AI.

However, concerns have also emerged regarding workers' ability to adapt quickly to AI-related skills. The number of job postings mentioning GPT or ChatGPT specifically has increased significantly since the release of the chatbot last year, and AI engineers rank as the third fastest-growing role on LinkedIn's platform, according to another LinkedIn report published in August.

In an attempt to gain an edge in the workplace, some employees have even been using AI tools like ChatGPT secretly, as revealed by a January survey conducted by professional networking platform Fishbowl. Out of the 11,700 users surveyed, 70% reported using ChatGPT without informing their superiors.

Despite employees' growing concerns about AI, it is worth noting that enthusiasm for AI may be waning. Web analytics data from Similarweb indicates that traffic to the ChatGPT website has declined for the third consecutive month in August, suggesting a potential decrease in AI hype.  

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