Most US workers want to adopt emerging tech like AI but see senior leaders as obstacle

More than half of surveyed employees say the emerging technologies are outdated by the time their companies decide to implement them.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
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GenZ and Millennials are most likely to view their senior leadership as not valuing adopting emerging technology. 

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Emerging technologies such as generative AI have the potential to transform the workplace in a way that improves productivity and optimizes workflows, which many workers want. However, for that to happen, senior leaders first have to enable these technologies.

A new study by Ernst & Young (EY) surveyed more than 1,000 US employees regarding 12 emerging technologies, including AI, machine learning (ML), and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) among others. 

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A whopping 89% of the workers polled disclosed that they believed adopting emerging technologies would be beneficial to their company. However, 59% of them said their senior leadership was slow to embrace these technologies, according to the survey. 

Furthermore, 52% of the polled employees say that the technologies are outdated by the time the respondents' companies decide to implement them.

"Though leaders acknowledge how new technologies can transform their business, they need to also be aware of employee perceptions around the slow pace of adoption, and the barriers and risks that could undermine efforts," said Faisal Alam, EY Americas Consulting Emerging Technology Leader.

Privacy and cybersecurity are among the concerns that prevent leadership from adopting newer, advanced technologies more quickly.

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For example, major companies - including Apple, Verizon, JPMorgan Chase, and Amazon -- have restricted one of the most popular emerging technologies, ChatGPT, from their internal networks due to data privacy concerns. 

The differing views on emerging technologies can also be attributed to generational gaps. The survey showed that GenZ and Millennial employees are more likely than previous generations to use generative AI to draft emails. 

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Gen Z and Millennials are also the two generational groups most likely to view their senior leadership as not valuing adopting emerging technology. 

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