Federal workers welcome AI but want more guidance on working with it
- More than half of government workers are open to the addition of intelligent technologies, like AI, to help them at work, according to a study by Government Business Council and Accenture, but they also want agencies to given them the resources to navigate the transition to such technologies.
- Fifty-one percent of government workers surveyed believe the number of jobs requiring collaboration with AI will increase in the next three years, and 74% believe it will be somewhat, very or extremely important for them to have the skills needed to work with AI within the next three to five years. But only 26% of respondents believe their respective agency has communicated the potential impact of AI adequately, well or very well.
- While most respondents are confident in their skills and recognize adaptability will be essential, a majority (61%) are concerned about a reported lack of technical support and user training, Accenture said. Fifty-five percent of workers said "being provided funding to cover training costs" would motivate them to develop new skills.
The tech talent skills gap affects both the public and private sectors, and the U.S. government has already taken steps to address the problem. But experts warn even those strategies and recommendations have persistent blind spots, leaving much work left to be done.
A late 2018 survey by the Consumer Technology Association found that 92% of tech industry leaders say they'll need more employees with technical skills, yet 74% said finding people with the rights skills will be more difficult. Analysts expect continued growth from outsourcing efforts, but top employers facing talent gaps are also increasingly expanding into the realm of education. And while upskilling of current staff is a commonly touted solution, recent studies show that employers may not have enough resources to train the entirety of displaced workers in the coming decade.
Surviving the digital transformation may also require more than training. Recommendations to government agencies in a recent report include overhauling culture in order harmonize with digital technology. Although many employees are open to advancing their tech skills, many in a separate survey don't believe their employers are preparing them for new roles.
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