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Smaller Businesses Looking to Human Workers, Not AI, to

Boost Productivity. For all the talk of AI increasing productivity, most company leaders in a new survey from Deloitte aren't yet reaping the rewards. Instead, they're turning to talent to do the work.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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A.I. could have the power to promote productivity, but many company leaders are prioritizing a different tactic: upskilling and hiring skilled talent.

Just 8 percent of U.S. private company leaders in a new Deloitte survey say that A.I. is currently boosting their organization's productivity. And the smaller companies in the survey were even less likely to say they were prioritizing investments in "advanced technology," like A.I, to boost productivity in the next year: Just 16 percent of companies with annual revenues under $500 million planned to lean on A.I. versus 44 percent of companies with revenues north of that threshold.

Instead, those smaller companies aim to use their talent more effectively, ranking "reskilling and upskilling existing employees" as their top priority for driving increased results. Even among larger companies---more interested in prioritizing A.I.--hiring qualified or skilled talent is still their main productivity play.  

Employers' focus on skilled talent is growing. Jobs requiring a college degree fell from 51 percent in 2017 to 44 percent in 2022, according to the Burning Glass Institute, a nonprofit focused on the future of work and workers. And in the next five years, employers expect that approximately "44% of workers' skills will be disrupted," according to a report from the World Economic Forum. Thus, hiring for skills, and training existing team members on new skills, could become even more crucial.  

But that doesn't mean these company leaders don't see A.I. being a powerful booster in the future. In fact, 87 percent of respondents in the survey anticipated seeing A.I.-driven productivity improvements in just the next three years.  

For now, leaders say, skilled talent is the ticket.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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