Organizations are more likely to derive value from artificial intelligence when their workers feel they are personally benefiting from the technology, according to a report. MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group.
Tuesday’s report, “Achieving Personal – and Organizational – Value with AI,” has three main findings: Organizations benefit from AI while individuals also benefit from the technology; People feel they benefit from using AI when it helps their job performance, autonomy, and relationships at work; And managers can improve the use of AI at work by building awareness and how to use the technology.
Specifically, the report found that 64% of survey respondents felt personally valued by using AI and were 3.4 times more likely to be satisfied in their jobs than workers who did not derive value from AI. Moreover, despite claims that AI will replace jobs, the report states that 60% or so of respondents feel that AI tools are more like a colleague.
“Our research found that personal use and personal value are critical to organizational success with AI,” the report said.
While using AI and building trust in the technology is essential, the report found that increasing the likelihood that people will use AI regularly will have greater impact. Additionally, people who need to use AI are 1.4 times more likely to derive value from using the technology than people who don’t need to use the technology.
And while initial use of AI is necessary to aid its adoption, especially when there is resistance, it is important to maintain personal autonomy and allow workers to overcome the technology. Employees who were required to use AI used it 3 times more than those who were not required to, but people who could replace AI used it 2.1 times more than those who could not.
Furthermore, among respondents who reported that their organization derives moderate, significant, or extensive value from AI, 85% stated that they personally also derive value from AI.
However, the report states, “Measuring the value people get from using AI is difficult, in part because of the many ways people use the technology.”
According to the report, people gain value by becoming competent in their jobs, for example using AI to make better decisions. They also derive value from increased autonomy. For example, AI improves personal autonomy by providing employees with prior actions, project outcomes of current actions, obtaining important information about previous relevant situations, and receiving feedback on the consequences of past actions to recommend improvements.
Individuals also reported receiving value in the form of strong relationships. Specifically, the report found that respondents use AI to have better interactions with their team members (56%), their managers (47%) and other people in their department (52%).
However, the report found that managers can improve the personal use and value of AI by ensuring that employees can easily understand AI-based results and recommendations. According to the report, users who can interpret AI results are 2.8 times more likely to trust AI than those who cannot understand them.
Workers who understand how to work with AI are 1.7 times more likely to feel they will get value from the technology than those who do not. Managers can also promote awareness of when people are using AI, who is using it, and how it relates to the organization’s strategy, helping workers see its value. According to the report, most workers don’t even realize they’re using AI. But when given specific examples of AI products, 43% admitted they use the technology regularly or sometimes.
“A lack of awareness may be a byproduct of the growing extent of AI use,” the report said. “After all, AI is a small but critically embedded part of a larger system. As a result, people underreport the use of AI and therefore the value they derive from the technology. Organizations need to understand all of these uses—both hidden and known—to understand how using AI can contribute to individual and organizational value.
The report offers several recommendations for individuals and organizations to benefit from AI, including: avoid “flashy AI” and instead focus on customer value and experience; Look out for the interests of individuals and organizations; Don’t burden workers to provide AI tools that only benefit organizations; And make sure the benefits outweigh the costs to the individual.
For the report, MIT and the Boston Consulting Group interviewed 17 executives and surveyed and analyzed records from 1,741 respondents in more than 20 industries and 100 countries.