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HSBC survey reveals businesses value human touch in AI era
Wed, 7th Feb 2024

In a current climate awash with fears over losses in job security due to Artificial Intelligence (AI), a notable survey by HSBC highlights a considerable portion of businesses that believe the human touch remains an essential component of advanced technology.

The comprehensive survey, which collated responses from 2,600 business leaders, uncovered that 86% of these enterprises are studying the potential of emerging technologies, such as AI, to elevate the skills of their workforce. Alongside this, an additional 83% are laying future plans to re-educate their teams to make the most out of these swiftly developing technologies.

The concern that AI's progression might cost thousands their livelihoods, coupled with the widespread issue of misinformation, has understandably been identified as the main worry spawned by automation. Nevertheless, these findings imply a shift in the business mentality, leaning more towards accentuating the human factor in the workplace whilst letting automation unfold in parallel.

HSBC identifies this blending of AI and human capabilities as a fundamental cornerstone to drive enterprise success and growth in the approaching years.

Sharing his analysis on the survey, Sridhar Iyengar, MD for Zoho Europe, stated that businesses continue to seek human skills in the workplace, even as AI begins to hold a prominent role. He said: "The findings highlight that human skills are still highly desired in the workplace as businesses harness AI to advance the skillsets of their employees."

Iyengar added: "While it is true that AI can sometimes be portrayed negatively as a jobs threat, businesses can use the technology to empower their teams to perform more efficiently and creatively when applied in the right way."

Iyengar believes AI can be used to foster upskilling as businesses invest more in this emerging technology to realise its full potential. "While it is true that AI and automation will replace some jobs, it will also introduce new opportunities and roles. This is the case with any technology evolution," he noted.

Iyengar concluded that AI needs to work alongside humans to deliver true benefits for businesses that align with their more comprehensive strategy. He urged business leaders to remain updated with the latest developments in AI to provide appropriate education and training and to ensure the technology moves their business forward.

Jonathan Young, Chief Information Officer, FDM Group, echoed similar sentiments, stating: "As AI adoption continues to grow, businesses need human skills to harness its potential." She emphasised that enterprises investing in employees to meet technological trends have, in fact, improved the workforce's digital skills.

Flavell pointed out the fear of job losses due to AI adoption but commended organisations that focus on using AI to amplify productivity, innovation and economic growth. Seeing this as a "positive step towards the success of the technology," she believes it indicates a promising future for both AI and the human workforce.