How AI’s impact is dividing tech leaders
How AI’s impact is dividing tech leaders

How AI's impact is dividing tech leaders

While the jury is still out on whether artificial intelligence will eliminate jobs, one thing is for sure — it will change them.

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes integrated with business, most executives in the technology industry agree that AI implementation will change the nature of work. The 2018 World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report found that by 2022, at least 54 percent of employees in all industries will require significant re- and/or upskilling to harness the potential of AI and automation technologies. 

However, only 42 percent of technology industry CEOs plan to upskill more than half their workforce over the next three years, according to the 2019 KPMG report “The future of HR in the technology sector.” 

Indecision on AI’s ultimate impact   

The hesitation by leaders to upskill workers now derives from the disagreement of AI’s ultimate impact. Three generations of technology industry professionals hold differing perspectives on AI’s effect. These generational opinions also differ greatly compared to the HR function’s opinion. Less than half (47 percent) of tech industry HR execs believe AI will create more jobs than it will eliminate.


Almost the same percentage (45 percent) cite HR’s biggest challenge over the next five years to be preparing for AI, and execs believe their primary role is to prepare the workforce through change management, training to acquire new skills, and workforce transition.

About 70 percent of HR executives at tech companies recognize the need for workplace transformation, but only 50 percent have a plan in place. Further, only about one-third feel “very confident” about their ability to transform the workforce.

AI’s inevitable integration

As cognitive technologies grow more intelligent and more affordable, they will become essential in order for businesses to stay competitive and reduce costs.

“It is critical that organizations think about how they can integrate AI into their strategic decision-making process,” said KPMG U.S. People & Change Director Rebecca George. “It is tricky because you have to balance the benefits of AI with the benefits of human labor as each one provides you with something different. You really have to consider the impact of both to create balance and ensure your company thrives.”

HR execs in tech companies are leading the charge with AI implementation. More than half have started introducing AI (compared to 36 percent for cross-industry peers), and 74 percent cite HR as taking a leading or supporting role in AI initiatives (compared to 61 percent of cross-industry peers). 

AI implementation is set to affect millennials the most as this generation is the youngest cohort in the workforce. Millennials will find the change management process and upskilling efforts to be crucial for their future employment.

Learn what steps HR leaders in the technology sector need to take in order to successfully ready their business and workforce for the full impact of AI in “The future of HR in the technology sector.”