AI Divides the Workforce

AI Divides the Workforce

Half want to give up routine jobs, the other half refuse. One in seven believe that an AI could take over their job completely.

Just under half (45%) of employees would like to have an AI as a personal assistant at work, but only 31% believe that an AI could actually take over tasks at their workplace. Conversely, 13% believe that an AI could completely replace them in their job in the future. These are the results of a survey of 511 employees in Germany commissioned by the digital association Bitkom.

Ranking the advantages

“In the coming years, artificial intelligence will change activities in practically all professions and reduce the workload of employees. AI will be integrated into existing technologies – in the office, for example. But completely new applications will also emerge – for example in industrial production, healthcare or creative professions,” says Bitkom President Ralf Wintergerst. “AI will primarily support people, for example by taking over repetitive tasks, pointing out possible errors or drawing important insights from large amounts of data.

Workers see the biggest advantage of using AI in the workplace as keeping companies fit for the future (50%). 47% of respondents say that it saves working time, while 41% say that it allows people to concentrate on more important tasks. Around a third each believe that AI avoids human error (33%), enables faster and more precise problem analysis (31%) and increases employee motivation (30%).

A quarter of respondents (26%) see cost savings as an advantage, while a fifth (21%) see lower resource consumption. Accelerated processes are cited as an advantage by 18%, while 12% hope that AI will bring expert knowledge to the company that would otherwise not exist. Only 9 percent expect AI to improve products and services and just 7 percent expect AI to enable completely new products and services. Almost a fifth (18%) of respondents believe that AI has no advantages at all in the world of work.


In contrast, only 1 percent see no disadvantages to the use of AI in the world of work. Three quarters (77%) fear that AI will lead to job losses, 71% that the use of AI will make it unclear who is responsible for a mistake. And 66 percent are concerned that people will rely too much on AI in the future.

Around two thirds of respondents (64%) also see the disadvantage of AI taking the human element out of work. And 63 percent believe it is unclear who receives the data that is used for AI. Less widespread is the criticism that AI is too complicated to use (24 percent) and that companies spend too much money on AI that is then wasted elsewhere (20 percent). 5 percent complain that AI mainly takes on the simple tasks that offer a break from the workplace.

With this in mind, Bitkom boss Wintergerst sums up: “Companies should enable employees to gain their own experience with AI. By teaching AI skills, the possibilities and limitations of the technology can be better understood.”