More than half of U.S. employees are already using generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools to accomplish work-related tasks, yet some three-quarters of companies still lack an established, clearly communicated organizational AI policy, according to a survey from The Conference Board.
The numbers show that 56% of workers are using generative AI on the job, with nearly 1 in 10 employing the technology on a daily basis. Yet just 26% of respondents say their organization has a policy related to the use of generative AI, with another 23% reporting such a policy is under development. The survey was fielded from July 26 to August 13 and polled nearly 1,100 US employees, predominantly including office workers.
Workers are still experimenting with the new technology, as shown by the 25% who say they are using generative AI occasionally, and 31% who report using generative AI on a frequent, regular basis, including daily (9%), weekly (17%), or monthly (5%). And they seem to like the results, with 31% saying the quality of generative AI is equal to a novice worker, and 45% saying that quality is equal to an experienced worker. Ten percent said it was equal to an expert.
The survey showed that most workers are using generative AI tools for basic, foundational tasks involving text. The most common use cases include: drafting written content (68%), brainstorming ideas (60%), and conducting background research (50%). At the same time, a small number of other workers are using generative AI for quantitative and technical tasks, such as analyzing data and making forecasts (19%), generating/checking computer code (11%), or image recognition and generation (7%).
The research shows that the adoption of AI is proceeding rapidly—and openly—even in the absence of organization-wide policies. But early results indicate that the robots are not on the verge of taking over human jobs.
While a healthy 63% say that generative AI tools have positively impacted their productivity, just 7% report a significant increase in productivity. Instead, many workers foresee generative AI replacing only elements of their job functions, thus freeing up time for more valuable or creative tasks.
“Generative Al is already delivering work product that meets or exceeds the quality of employees with years of experience—at least on specific tasks,” Diana Scott, Leader of The Conference Board Human Capital Center, said in a release. “At the same time, few people we surveyed foresee AI technology as a threat to replace their jobs entirely. Rather, they appear to be embracing AI as a solution for repetitive or tedious parts of their work, freeing up bandwidth for more productive and valuable uses of their time.”