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More than half of CIOs see AI as an overall job rather than a job destroyer

Over half (51%) of UK CIOs say that artificial intelligence (AI) will have a positive effect on job creation and recruitment according to new research by  recruitment specialists Robert Half Technology UK. This is more than three times the number who say that it will diminish workers’ job prospects (16%).

UK CIOs were asked, ‘Artificial intelligence is changing the way that companies operate and people work. Do you think AI will have a positive or negative impact on job creation and recruitment?’ Their responses:

Very positive impact 14%
Positive impact 37%
Neither positive nor negative impact 31%
Negative impact 14%
Very negative impact 2%
I don’t know 2%

The research also found that nearly two thirds (64%) think that AI will have a “positive” (42%) or “very positive” (22%) effect on employee productivity.

The findings are contrary to the claims that AI will inevitably lead to job losses, and more closely tally with PwC’s analysis that automation technologies (including AI) will replace just 1% of current jobs.

“AI will transform businesses and enable them to enter new markets, diversify their operations, improve their ability to address their customers’ needs and improve their competitive advantage,” said Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half. “AI’s potential to also transform the way we work can’t be overshadowed. In fact, a quarter of CIOs in the UK are already considering the expectations of their future IT departments; both the staffing and the infrastructure requirements that will accompany this”.

As CIOs consider their talent pipeline and future workforce, one major concern that they will need to overcome is the acute talent shortage facing both the UK and the international business community. Robert Half’s research found that four in five CIOs believe that it is more challenging to attract and secure qualified professionals than it was five years ago.

“The UK is not alone in its struggle for highly skilled IT professionals. We are in a worldwide talent shortage – which is particularly acute in technology — and risks delaying the benefits that AI and other technologies can offer. One way businesses can work around this is by working with their current IT talent pipeline and offering opportunities for upskilling and additional training and development. Another option would be the implementation of flexible recruitment strategies – leveraging a combination of permanent and contract workers to access the skills and experience they need to meet market demands.” he concluded.