Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming the workplace—from how businesses operate to how work gets done. What’s more, the pace of change is startling, with more than 90% of surveyed employers predicting that they will use AI-related solutions in their organizations by 2028.
To better understand where workplaces might be headed, Access Partnership and Amazon Web Services (AWS) collaborated on a new survey of 3,297 employees and 1,340 organizations in the U.S., across industries.
Here are five takeaways from the report.
1. Most organizations will use AI and expect to benefit from it
Almost all organizations in the U.S. will be AI-enabled. According to the report, 92% of the organizations surveyed plan to use AI-powered solutions by 2028.
While most employers (92%) believe their IT departments will be the biggest beneficiary of AI, they also believe other departments, from sales and marketing (85%) to human resources (78%), will derive significant value from it as well.
Most see AI offering significant benefits for their organizations by automating employees’ tasks (64%), highlighting this as a key benefit; improving workflows and outcomes (58%); enhancing communications (54%); and helping their employees learn new skills (50%).
2. Generative AI tools will become commonplace at work
Generative AI—a type of AI that can create new content and ideas quickly, including conversations, stories, images, videos, music, and more—has captured mainstream attention in the past year.
Considering this momentum, it is not surprising that more than 93% of employers and 86% of employees expect to use generative AI within the next five years to increase innovation and creativity, automate repetitive tasks, and boost learning.
3. Acquiring AI skills could boost paychecks and accelerate career growth
With substantial potential to improve operational efficiency, worker productivity, and decision-making, surveyed employers are willing to pay higher wages to employees with AI skills and expertise. Notably, while employers are willing to pay an average of 47% more for IT workers with AI skills, the study found that pay benefits will extend across departments. Employers said that they would be willing to pay workers with AI skills a premium in sales and marketing (43% higher salary); finance (42%); business operations (41%); legal, regulatory, and compliance (37%); and human resources (35%).
Overall, nearly 80% of workers surveyed mentioned that they would be interested in developing AI skills to advance their careers. The study also found that this interest in AI transcends generations. For example, about two-thirds of workers over the age of 55, a demographic usually thinking about retirement, say they would enroll in AI upskilling courses if employers offered them.
4. AI’s productivity payoff could be profound
Among workers, 88% expect to use AI in their daily work by 2028. By hastening ideas and creativity, automating repetitive tasks, and enabling better decisions, surveyed employers and employees believe AI could boost overall productivity by as much as 49%.
These findings are remarkable when one considers average nonfarm labor productivity growth in the United States has averaged 1.3% per year since 2019.
5. Employers report an AI skills gap
Understanding the potential benefits of AI, 73% of surveyed employers consider hiring talent with AI skills and experience a priority. But, nearly three in four (75%) of them say that they can’t find the talent they need.
The survey also reveals employers are not solely focused on workers with technical skills such as coding. In fact, critical and creative thinking are even more in demand by employers.
In short, the survey confirms that employers face a growing AI skills gap that can only be addressed through training and education programs. Unfortunately, the report also shows that 82% of employers and employees aren’t sure which specific skills they should pursue, and nearly 80% don’t know what outside training might exist for them.
Looking ahead, it’s clear that employers and employees are expecting AI tools to deliver tremendous benefits in the workplace on a daily basis. But because it’s still early, most agree that considerable preparation and training will be needed to make the most of this evolving technology. Only time will tell how that shakes out for the future of work.
Read the full research findings:
Learn more about AI Ready, Amazon’s commitment designed to provide free AI skills training to 2 million people globally.