Employees say they need more training to harness power of AI

Nicola Downing, CEO at Ricoh Europe
While a significant proportion of European employees are using AI tools at work, not enough is being done to ensure the necessary training is provided

There can be little doubt that use of AI tools in the workplace is on the rise. 

Tech giants like ServiceNow and Nvidia are busy making huge investments, while a significant majority of leaders are confident that the positives of artificial intelligence will ultimately overshadow any negatives that arise. 

But do these businesses have the capabilities necessary to truly harness the power of this game-changing technology?

In a recent study, EY discovered that, while most workers (89%) believe adopting new digital capabilities is to the benefit of their company, almost three in five (59%) say the pace at which this is happening is not fast enough. 

More than half think technologies are outdated by the time their company does implement them.

While the pace of adoption might have picked up in recent months, it appears problems are persisting in respect of workplace guidance and training.

AI adoption is accelerating at companies across Europe

Ricoh research finds gap between AI usage and competency

Fresh research from Ricoh Europe has revealed a distinct gap between workers' use of emerging technologies and organisations' efforts to support and manage that usage. 

While almost half of European employees are actively using AI tools, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and 18% are using them at least once a day, just one in six (16%) companies have offered relevant training. 

Similarly, less than one in five (18%) businesses have implemented risk management measures to ensure the safe and transparent use of AI – despite associated copyright and privacy risks. 

As adoption of AI outpaces implementation of formal policies and procedures, businesses could be missing out on the purported productivity benefits and are far more likely to fall into legal or ethical traps. 

“Our research highlights that European employees lack the right guidance from their employers on AI’s safe and secure utilisation, despite many using it on a day-to-day basis,” comments Nicola Downing, CEO at Ricoh Europe.

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“Without proper governance and training, companies may leave themselves susceptible to copyright, legal or reputational breaches. Organisations that put robust guidance in place and equip employees with the skills to harness these technologies ethically and compliantly will be best placed to capitalise on the benefits they can bring.

“Moreover, investing in upskilling employees, and giving them the opportunity to learn and grow, is a win-win for both employees and customers.”

Ricoh commissioned Opinium to poll 6,000 office workers, which consisted of 1,000 in each of the following markets: the UK & Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. 

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