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Microsoft report shows employees are using AI in the workplace at large

Microsoft reports the use of AI has nearly doubled in the last six months, and that LinkedIn is seeing a significant increase in people adding AI skills to their profile.
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Posted at 2:53 PM, May 09, 2024

On Wednesday, Microsoft and LinkedIn released their 2024 Work Trend Index report to see how people are utilizing artificial intelligence in the workplace.

This report surveyed 31,00 people across 31 countries, as well as trillions of data points from Microsoft and Fortune 500 customers. In short, it shows that AI has entered the workplace en masse — and it looks like it is here to stay.

Last year, this is how Microsoft titled its work trend index report: "Will AI fix work?" And this year it appears the tech giant answered its own question, titling 2024's edition: "AI At Work Is Here. Now Comes The Hard Part."

“Employees are overwhelmed and under duress and they are turning to AI for help, for relief," said Colette Stallbaumer, co-founder of Microsoft's AI tool, Copilot.

In 2023, the company’s report focused on what it called digital debt — the amount of emails and digital work that simply outpaced employees’ ability to keep up with it.

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The new report released Wednesday shows people are finding ways to manage that through AI. Microsoft reports the use of AI has nearly doubled in the last six months, and that LinkedIn is seeing a significant increase in people adding AI skills to their profile. The new report from Microsoft — which has its own AI development — adds that most leaders say they wouldn’t hire someone without AI skills.

“It’s really about taking your job and sort of breaking it into tasks and understanding that AI is there to help. We called it Copilot and not Autopilot for a reason. It’s really about thinking about it as an assistant," said Stallbaumer.

Stallbaumer says it’s not laziness; in fact, it’s initiative. The report says 78% of AI users are bringing AI to work themselves — meaning it isn't provided by the company, and bosses are trying to catch up, as the report reads, “The opportunity for every leader is to channel this momentum into business impact at scale.”

“It’s about looking across your organization and figuring out where you can apply AI, both to help people and give them more agency, but also to help, ultimately, increase revenue, drive growth and manage cost," said Stallbaumer.

The report shows AI users say they save 30 minutes a day by using those tools — whether that’s ChatGPT to type up drafts and emails, or using AI to spark imagination for business ideas. As for the future — Stallbaumer says it’ll be interesting to see how companies respond to the fact that AI is here, and it looks like for good.