Will AI help or hinder older workers?

Will AI entrench bias or be a positive for older workers? We asked you what you think.

Line of people different ages waiting for their turn for interview.

Nearly three quarters of older workers are worried about the implications of Artificial Intelligence on the hiring process, according to a workingwise.co.uk survey.

The snapshot survey which ran alongside one for workingmums.co.uk, found older workers were significantly more worried than mums that AI used in the recruitment process might make it harder for them to get an interview for a new job. Twenty-seven per cent said they were very worried, compared to 23% of mums, with an additional 44% saying they were quite worried [compared to 31% of mums].

It comes amid concerns about ageism in the recruitment process and worries about how automated systems might entrench bias. Feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez told a recent meeting that countries are “massively taking their eye off the ball” when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, which, she said,  amplifies existing biases. “AI trained predominantly on male data will be worse,” she stated.  We need to ensure there is a gendered analysis of data and that safeguards are taken with the data used to fuel AI “to prevent us making the world worse”. Meanwhile, Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission, warned this week that the risk of AI amplifying bias or discrimination is a more pressing concern than the risk of human extinction.

The survey also found older workers were more worried than mums about the implications of AI for their job or the type of work that they do – 67% said they were worried compared to 58% of mums, but the mums who were worried were more likely to say they were very worried. Over a third [34%] of older workers thought their job would not change due to AI, but the majority – 52% – thought it would. More people thought that change would be negative – 36% compared to 30% who thought it would be positive.

Eighty-one per cent said their employer had not spoken to them about  any AI-related changes they are implementing or working on. A huge 89% are not  receiving training to help them work with AI tools.

The pop-up poll, of around 300 people, comes after news headlines drawing attention to the negative implications of AI after several high profile experts spoke out about the need for regulation of the new technology following the launch of ChatGPT.

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