Attitudes on AI-powered devices at work: Top 3 survey takeaways

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

SADA parent company Insight recently conducted a survey on employee attitudes about using AI-powered devices at work. The survey’s results illuminate how the introduction of AI into everyday work has provoked both cautious optimism and concerns about data security and impacts to jobs. In this blog post, we’ll zero in on what some of the results suggest about how organizations can most effectively integrate generative AI to support their teams and drive positive business outcomes. As a Google Cloud Partner of the Year, we naturally considered these survey results through the lens of how Google AI tools like Vertex AI and Gemini for Workspace can empower teams and drive results. That said, this survey has much to offer for anyone who is applying AI to research, developing services, or other tasks in a business context.

Read more about Insight’s survey.

Survey methodology

Insight worked with The Harris Poll to issue the survey online, in the United States, from March 7 to 14, 2024, to 604 U.S. adults ages 21+ who are employed full-time at a company with 1,000+ employees, including 201 Gen Z (ages 22-26), 202 Millennials (ages 27-42), and 201 Gen X/Boomers/Seniors (ages 43+).

1. Considering generational AI attitudes and how best to handle AI in the workplace

The generational breakdown of the survey turned out to result in some intriguing insights. According to the survey, “Gen Z are the most curious (50%) and excited (37%) to use generative AI at work, while the older generation of Gen X/Boomers/Seniors express the most caution (40%) and skepticism (32%).” 

On the other hand, “Almost half (45%) worry that AI will eventually make what they do less relevant to their employer. Gen Z (46%) and Millennials (55%) are more apt to believe this compared to Gen X/Boomers (33%).”

What an interesting set of results. It seems the survey is suggesting that the younger you are, the more curious, excited, and yet worried you are about AI devices in the workplace. You’re feeling all the feelings. If you’re old enough to have voted for Bill Clinton, you’re more confident about your place in the workforce, and more skeptical of the value of AI-driven technology. 

Is your company ready to handle changes associated with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology?

This mix of attitudes is to be expected as any new technology starts to permeate the workplace. And think of how many new technologies are poised to disrupt our daily lives, from self-driving cars to computer vision, automation, and AI-powered search tools. The human brain, having evolved over millions of years to process massive amounts of sensory input, is having to sharpen its ability to weed through an increasing volume of background noise. AI technology is one of countless new phenomena we must manage in our exponentially accelerating digital world. We need assistance.

Don’t forget how helpful it can be to tap into old-fashioned human intelligence. SADA’s Change Management services address the mix of attitudes, expectations, and concerns that teams have as organizations implement new solutions, migrate to the cloud, or engage teams through productivity & collaboration platforms like Google Workspace. 

According to Veronica Raulin, Senior Director of SADA’s Change Management team, these sorts of attitudes and concerns should be respectfully and clearly addressed. “These survey results tell me that we have an opportunity to demonstrate how AI can supplement the valuable, thoughtful work people do day in and day out,” says Raulin.

As one of the SADA experts who has gone deep into the art of prompt engineering, Raulin sees tremendous potential for artificial intelligence and machine learning tools for day-to-day work. “AI can complete the more menial tasks like summarizing big bodies of text or notes and drafting emails,” she said. “It can also provide a starting point for creative content. It’s our responsibility to lean in and address this mix of optimism and concern with empathy and problem solving that makes AI relevant to SADA customers, regardless of the industry or responsibilities of employees.” 

2. The workforce is ready to learn about AI, and hungry for training

Across the board, workers want to level up their AI skills. According to the survey, “Nearly half (49%) would like—and might expect—their employers to offer training to maximize the value of their applications.” 

Artificial intelligence (ai), machine learning, and ai powered technology users embracing the future

For a little over a year, we’ve all had access to new AI tools and applications. Employees at businesses in every industry are experimenting with coding, generating marketing copy, and producing images and video with generative AI. Evolving from this experimentation phase to an empowered workforce equipped with best practices, and focused on the most promising use cases, can represent a significant lift. 

SADA’s recently launched Generative AI Journey Accelerator program is designed to address just these sorts of challenges. (If you’d like to spend some time getting your AI duck in a row, you might consider a complimentary assessment of your organization’s AI readiness.) The Accelerator program proceeds through deep dive consultations with SADA AI experts to identify your most promising use cases, and results in tailor-made recommendations for your company’s next steps. 

Simon Margolis, SADA Associate CTO, AI/ML, understands the challenges that organizations face when considering how they’ll take advantage of new AI solutions. “AI is so new and there are competing platforms and products coming out all the time,” says Margolis. “Leveling up your AI skills accelerates when you can tap into expert help from SADA. The most important thing to note is that there are valuable AI solutions for users across all levels of technical experience–anyone from veteran ML engineers or data scientists to non-technical business users will find AI tools and products that they can use in their current workflows today.” 

3. AI security is a huge concern–here’s how to confront it

Survey participants were concerned about the security risks of using AI-powered devices. “Security risks (52%) and privacy violations (48%) top the list of macro concerns. Older workers (Gen X/Boomers/Seniors) express the most concern for these areas (security, 62%; privacy, 55%).”

It follows that those of us who have been around longer have seen more things go wrong, so these results aren’t completely surprising. Security issues related to AI, particularly GenAI, are increasingly becoming a factor in the strategies of organizations that find themselves vulnerable to social engineering, phishing, and other attacks that exploit communications. 

Businesses using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, & AI powered tools manage the security risk

Organizations that use AI like Vertex, Gemini Pro 1.5, and Gemini for Google Workspace can rest easier knowing that these applications were developed within the context of Google’s foundational security practices and standards to minimize risk. These weren’t applications developed by third parties and introduced into the Google Cloud ecosystem; they’re built from the ground up with Google’s trusted security practices firmly in mind. 

Rocky Giglio, SADA’s Director, Security Go-to-Market & Solutions, helps customers develop security strategies that account for the rising popularity of GenAI tools. “GenAI isn’t going away, and for all the incredible opportunities it offers to businesses, it also gives bad actors another tool for their arsenal,” Giglio says. “Gen AI  is also creating a new set of vectors we need to protect. To stay one step ahead, you need to account for security with GenAI from the very beginning and you develop a data security and usage strategy that will embrace innovation while protecting your valuable assets.”

Get started on your AI strategy 

Developing artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, ai powered assistant tool, ai chatbot technology, & ai system strategies

Integrating powerful new generative AI tools, natural language processing, deep learning algorithms, large language models, and AI chatbots into your organization’s workflows means winning your teams over and ensuring that they’re empowered to drive change. As we ponder a future that may include such science fiction technologies as autonomous vehicles and an AI digital assistant for every employee, it’s good to remember that human motivation and imagination remain at the center of every worthy achievement.

When it comes to AI, everyone has to start somewhere. Which is why SADA has developed a FREE Generative AI Readiness Assessment to help you get a baseline read on how your organization stacks up against others like you who are embracing new AI features of tools like Google Workspace, as well as entirely new generative AI applications.

Take the Generative AI Readiness Assessment today and start your conversation with SADA AI experts who stand ready to help your organization achieve your AI vision.


Our expert teams of consultants, architects, and solutions engineers are ready to help with your bold ambitions, provide you with more information on our services, and answer your technical questions. Contact us today to get started.

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