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U.S. Workers Anxious About AI Use In Finance, Operations

Driven by negative news coverage, salaried workers’ concerns over job loss, business fraud, other potential adverse effects of AI in the workplace outweigh enthusiasm for potential benefits.

Widespread apprehensions among U.S. workers regarding the negative impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) are impeding the broader adoption of beneficial AI advancements, finds a recent survey. From fears of job displacement to concerns about business fraud and biased decision-making, 2024 Yooz Survey: AI in the Workplace findings underscore a significant barrier to embracing AI across industries.

Survey respondents expressed particular concerns about AI’s use in business finance and operations, presenting a challenge for FinTech firms seeking acceptance and trust in AI-driven solutions.

AI in finance
(Source: 2024 Yooz Survey: AI in the Workplace)

The survey asked 600 U.S. salaried workers across industries and age groups to describe their perceptions of AI in the workplace in 2024. Key findings of the survey include:

  • Fear vs. Excitement: Nearly three times as many respondents said “people are more fearful than excited about AI” (38%) than said “people are more excited than fearful about AI” (13%), with 45% saying “people are equally fearful and excited about AI” and 4% saying they were not sure.
  • Job Displacement Concerns: More than twice as many respondents said AI’s primary impact on employment would be to “eliminate jobs across various industries” (41%) than said they expected AI to “create new job opportunities” (18%).
  • Impact of Negative News Coverage: Nearly half (47%) of respondents reported encountering news stories or information online discussing the potential risks or negative consequences “often” or “very often,” with an additional 36% encountering them “sometimes” and only 17% encountering them “rarely” or “never.”
  • Perception of News Bias: Over half (51%) of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “news stories about artificial intelligence tend to highlight risks or negative consequences more than its benefits,” while only 23% disagreed or strongly disagreed with that statement.
  • Construction Industry Resistance: When offered a choice among 10 industries, both respondents overall and those specifically within the construction sector arrived at the same conclusion: the construction industry exhibited the highest resistance to embracing AI advancements.
Will AI Replace Human Judgment?

In the areas of business operations and finance specifically, survey respondents expressed concerns about AI replacing human judgment, as well as the potential use of AI by external sources to attack these functions. Findings include:

  • Financial Decision-Making: Almost all respondents (92%) said they had concerns about businesses using AI for “financial decision-making processes like loan approvals,” with most worried about the “loss of human judgment and oversight in critical financial decisions” (62%), and many expressing concerns about “lack of transparency in how AI makes decisions” (46%) and “potential bias in AI algorithms” (45%).
  • Security Vulnerabilities: About half (49%) of respondents expressed concern that AI could lead to new forms of business fraud that could pose “a significant threat to companies,” whereas only 25% said they were not concerned because they expected AI to “lead to better anti-fraud detection and prevention.”
  • Potential Bias in Hiring: 29% of respondents said that if AI was used in a company’s hiring process and was determined to exhibit unintentional bias against certain demographics, the company should “scrap the AI system entirely and revert to traditional hiring methods,” while 53% were willing to “retrain the AI with a more diverse dataset to remove biases,” and 18% responded “neither; not sure.”
  • Employer Liability: Respondents expressed concern over fraudsters using AI to target them through their work emails, with 56% saying their employer should be “held liable for losses incurred” and that their employer “has a duty to protect their employees” from such attacks.

“AI’s transformative potential is undeniable, yet our survey underscores a critical reality: worker apprehensions regarding its negative implications are hindering the widespread adoption of AI innovations,” said Laurent Charpentier, CEO of Yooz. “From fears of job displacement to concerns about biased decision-making, it’s evident that addressing these concerns is paramount for fostering a climate of trust and advancing AI’s positive contributions to our society and economy.”

As more companies rely on AI to power core business operations, educational initiatives will be critical to ensure all stakeholders — employees, customers and the broader public — are aware of how it’s being deployed and how it will benefit each individual.

Charpentier emphasized the significance of addressing concerns, adding, “The reticence towards AI presents a challenge for FinTech and other business technologies. It’s crucial for companies to share positive stories that showcase AI’s potential for a positive future in finance and operations.”

Read more about business resilience and continuity at Continuity Insights.

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