Tech industry HR executives divided by artificial intelligence

16 July 2019 3 min. read

Data from KPMG shows HR executives for tech companies are of two minds when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI). The firm’s “The Future of HR in the Technology Sector” report reveals 57% of HR executives believe the tech will eliminate more jobs than it creates in their organization, while 43% believe AI will create more jobs than it eliminates.

Despite the divide, artificial intelligence is all but inevitable. “Cognitive technologies are rapidly becoming more intelligent and affordable just when the global supply of skilled talent is getting smaller and more expensive, making the use of digital labor a necessity,” the report states.

Additionally, deals in the AI industry have skyrocketed in the last year, increasing by more than 40% to a record 150 deals. This record, however, is not set to remain unbroken for long, as 2019 seems poised to surpass it. As a whole, the AI market is set to grow to $190 billion by 2025.

When new business models, products, and services are introduced, however, it will not be digital labor at the helm; instead, people will be key to their construction, maintenance, and marketing. Human beings will take the lead, with AI acting as tools of support, enhancement, and innovation. Here lies the crux of the matter, according to HR executives: 45% believe that preparing for AI is the HR sector’s biggest challenge in the coming five years.

Which of the following is the most likely impact of AI on your organization

To make this preparation as smooth and complete as possible, HR must act to manage change, then move to train the workforce to ensure that AI and employees can efficiently and effectively work together. As far as implementation of AI, 55% of HR tech leaders say they have already begun to introduce the technology into the organizations, while 74% believe HR should lead or support AI initiatives.

HR in control of AI is a point of contention in the business world. If AI is making decisions based on what it has learned and other experiences – if AI becomes accountable – the argument goes, it’s only logical that HR employees would be responsible for them.

The general business attitude towards AI shifts when broken down by generation, with 65% of millennials, 88% of Generation X, and 96% of Baby Boomers believing that AI will create more jobs than it eliminates.

Because of their different views of AI, generations have different priorities for the coming years. Millennials believe in training and reskilling existing members of the workforce, while older generation leaders believe recruiting skilled employees is more important than reskilling existing ones.

Related: An approach to assess and implement artificial intelligence