How to Talk to Your Boss About AI

By: Keith Wagstaff · May 17, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Little Secret

Lots of workers are using AI. But they’re not always open about it, according to a new survey from Microsoft (MSFT) and LinkedIn.

Some key figures from the report:

•   Globally, 75% of knowledge workers said they use generative AI models such as ChatGPT at work.

•   78% of them said they bring their own AI tools to work, as opposed to using AI software provided by their employer.

•   52% were reluctant to admit to using AI for important tasks.

•   53% said they worried that admitting to using AI for important tasks would make them look replaceable.

Why are workers so worried? Well, there was the recent poll by Adecco Group and Oxford Economics that found 41% of executives expect to employ fewer people over the next five years because of AI. Or the negative headlines about AI, including this one from Bloomberg: “AI Is Driving More Layoffs Than Companies Want to

Employees are afraid of losing their jobs. Meanwhile, employers face security, privacy, and copyright risks if their workers use unsanctioned AI tools.

Demand for AI Skills

66% of leaders said they wouldn’t hire someone without AI skills, according to the Microsoft and LinkedIn report, while 71% said they’d rather hire a less experienced candidate with AI skills than a more experienced one without them.

Despite that fact, only 39% of workers who use AI have received AI training from their employer.

What are workers who want to use AI, preferably in the open, supposed to do?

Level Up, Be Transparent

First, if you want to learn how to use AI, you can take a course from LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, or a plethora of other sources.

Once you learn to prompt engineer with the best of them, it’s time to talk with your boss about integrating the technology into your workflow.

Writing in USA Today , HR expert Johnny C. Taylor Jr. said it’s “crucial to communicate with your boss” about using AI at work, adding that taking a “proactive approach could even help shape a future AI policy to suit your company’s needs and values.”

When preparing to talk to your boss about using AI, it couldn’t hurt to put together a list of the technology’s benefits. The report found that more than 90% of AI power users, defined as people who use it several times a week at work, said AI:

•   Makes their workload feel more manageable, reducing burnout.

•   Boosts their creativity.

•   Helps them focus on their most important work.

•   Makes them feel more motivated.

Need help putting together a pitch? Luckily, there are a few AI models that can help you with that.

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