Are workers scared of AI? CEO of Deloitte Consulting weighs in


According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 84,638 U.S. employers have laid off workers in 2024 so far. Of these layoffs, 15,225 were attributed to a “technological update” and just 383 were explicitly blamed on artificial intelligence.

It may be that AI is not yet capable of replacing many workers. Or it may be that transparently replacing workers with AI is a bad look. “In light of the backlash some companies have faced for directly attributing job cuts to artificial intelligence, they appear to be framing this shift as a ‘technological update’ rather than an outright substitution of human roles with AI,” suggests Andrew Challenger, the firm’s senior vice president and labor and workplace expert. “In truth, companies are also implementing robotics and automation in addition to AI.” His firm’s data indicates that AI was the cause of 4,247 layoffs in 2023.

But regardless of exactly how many jobs have been lost to AI already, anxiety about whether (and when and how) AI will replace even more workers remains high. And while some have argued that AI may eliminate jobs but create new ones, research from Indeed suggests that 70% of HR professionals and 66% of job seekers think AI will be used to cut labor costs—rather than create more jobs.

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