UK office workers want a personal AI-powered assistant


According to research two thirds of UK office workers want to use AI technology at work so that they can have their very own personal assistant to share everyday tasks with.

Surveying 2,000 full-time and part-time office professionals in the UK, Adobe’s study reveals that far from fearing for their future careers, over two thirds of respondents say they aren’t phased by the growth of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, as they feel their role will still need human abilities that technology can’t replace.

AI: You’re Hired!

Most office workers view technology in the workplace as a positive force, with the majority saying it already improves their working day, helping them to be more productive, and enabling them to connect with their co-workers. The top tasks that respondents wanted AI assistance with, include:

  • Reminders of projects or appointments (46%)
  • Help with research on a work topic (36%)
  • Searches of electronic documents for information (30%)

Despite wanting an AI assistant to help with more admin-based tasks, workers are less eager to use   them for more strategic tasks, with only:

  • 16 per cent of people willing to use AI for creative suggestions or ideas for writing content
  • 16 per cent wishing to use AI for feedback on tone or style of emails or longer-form documents
  • 10 per cent welcoming suggestions from AI on how to grow their network of colleagues

Mark Greenaway, Head of Emerging Business EMEA at Adobe, said: “The research clearly shows that UK office workers are very open to embracing advanced technology like AI to augment their working day. Considering the often sensationalistic and innacurate reports given about AI technology, and its impact on our lives, it’s important thatworkers remember that AI can help make their lives easier, so they have more free time innovating and being productive.”

Surviving a technology-rich future

UK office workers believe that 60 per cent of admin based office tasks will be done by technology in the next 20 years. As a result, the majority also predict that their job will change in the next five years. Given the expected growth in workplace technology and uncertainty of how exactly it will impact jobs, only 19% say they feel ‘very equipped’ to deal with advanced technology.    

Mark Greenaway of Adobe continues, “Humans don’t feel like they’re just a cog in a machine. Our study shows that office workers are confident that they’ll continue to matter in the workplace, even in a world of fast-developing technology.

“Our findings suggest that people are open to change, but they also show that workers want to be confident when using new technologies – currently the majority don’t feel they have the skills necessary to do so – so more needs to be done by businesses. As long as employees adopt a learn-it-all mindset, and companies design user-centric technology that’s intuitive, technology and work patterns should evolve hand in hand.”