Thomson Reuters, a forerunner in embracing technologies such as machine learning for three decades, has divulged findings from research into the integration of artificial intelligence in various professions.
A survey encompassing perspectives from over 1,200 professionals across legal, accounting, risk, and compliance sectors in the Americas and UK shines light on the future of work in a world of AI.
“These amazing technological feats and simple user interfaces have business leaders asking how AI will transform their industries,” says chief executive officer Steve Hasker. “Perhaps nowhere is that fever pitch higher than in the professional field, where conjecture around the potential for generative AI in everything from research to contract development to analysis has been building for years.”
Hasker’s research highlights an optimism that professionals currently hold for AI’s capacity to redefine job roles, with many foreseeing a rise in the valuation of specific expertise. 64% of respondents anticipate an increase in appreciation of their professional skills, with nearly a quarter predicting this shift to materialize in the next 18 months.
“We know if AI tools are built and harnessed correctly, they have the potential to overcome some of businesses’ biggest pain points,” Hasker says.
However, the embrace of AI is not without apprehensions. A segment of the surveyed population, about one-third, expressed concerns over AI leading to a potential decline or even obsolescence of their profession.
Among the optimistic crowd, improvements emerge as a primary focus across many sectors, according to Thomson Reuters’ “The Future of Professionals Report.” Another area of interest is the role AI plays in uncovering growth avenues.
In terms of growth, AI is seen as a catalyst for firms to break ground in new markets and services, as well as a tool for product and service expansion.
To capture the potential of AI, workforces will need to be skilled on the tech. Indeed, the report underscores imminent training demands that AI is likely to usher in—a significant 90% of professionals predict mandatory AI training in the near future.
“Training programs will need to be adapted to help staff oversee and interpret … the implementation of AI solutions,” Hasker said.
Will AI training look like training of the past? Perhaps not.
The survey pointed out the potential of AI to revolutionize training methods, reducing human intervention and paving the way for autonomous learning. 87% of the participants forecasted a paradigm shift in training methodologies, with a majority expecting changes to come to the fore within the next year and a half.
“An evolution of this magnitude will require us all to step out of our comfort zones and reassess spending allocation in key areas such as real estate, training, and hiring to better ensure we are keeping pace with emerging technology investment,” suggests Hasker.
Thomson Reuters posits that, as AI continues to permeate the professional sphere, the need for adaptive strategies such as upskilling and redefined educational models, becomes imperative.
“The focus on retaining, attracting, training, and up-skilling talent should remain a top-of-agenda organizational issue if businesses are to continue to provide the value that customers and stakeholders have come to expect, especially as we put more emphasis on the tech changes that are disrupting all industries,” Hasker stated.
The “Future of Professionals” report suggests a necessity for firms and leaders to proactively address complex challenges, keeping a focus on talent nurturing to meet evolving demands of a tech-driven era. It predicts “record levels of profitability, at both firm and individual level, as AI creates demand and frees up time for specialist high-value expertise.”
“It is becoming clear that AI-empowered professionals will outpace those who don’t take advantage of this era of transformation,” Hasker says, and the same holds true for companies as well.