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AI:  Security, job losses, and lack of training all worrying UK managers, a new survey finds 

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UK managers are increasingly worried about AI technologies, with leaders expressing concerns about security risks and the impact on jobs, a new survey from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has found.  

The survey comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vowed to make Britain the global hub for “safe” AI at London Tech Week and follows the PM’s announcement that the UK would host a global summit on safety in AI this autumn.

The survey of over 1,000 UK-based managers found that the vast majority of managers (75%) are concerned about the security and privacy risks of using AI technologies, with two in five managers (43%) saying they are concerned that jobs in their organisations will be at risk due to AI.

When asked about how prepared they were for new AI technologies, over half of managers (52%) say that their organisation isn’t keeping up to date with the latest advancements in AI technology, and only one in five (20%) say that their organisation is staying up to date. Worryingly, only 4% of managers said they had received any training in the latest AI such as ChatGPT or Google’s Bard and less than one in ten (7%) managers agree that employees in their organisation are adequately trained to work with AI technologies, with the majority disagreeing (72%).

The research also found that managers are not engaging with current AI tools. Despite its high media profile, the survey found ChatGPT has never been used by most managers (62%). 

The Chartered Management Institute is calling on leaders and managers to better educate themselves and their teams on new AI technology and embrace its potential benefits.

In response to the survey, the CMI’s Policy Director, Anthony Painter, said:

“The greatest risk is not that AI will radically transform work and organisations, it’s that our fears will mean that the UK is likely to miss out on many of the potential benefits. Our survey backs this up and suggests that British workplaces are not ready to take advantage of the new wave of AI. We will pay a big price for this economically.”

“Managers will be responsible for seeing widespread adoption of AI in businesses and organisations across the UK, but their concerns could prevent companies from seizing the opportunity that these new technologies offer. Yes, we need much better regulation of these technologies but we also need managers to be bolder, educate themselves on these new technologies, and embrace the opportunity they present.

“AI technology has the potential to make managers’ lives easier with the tools able to rapidly analyse data, automate repetitive and mundane tasks, and better track company performance. Companies must train and prepare managers to handle these technologies if the UK is to fund a way out of the economic doldrums.”

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