Faced with progress in AI, the French are wondering about their professional future prospects

Faced with progress in AI, the French are wondering about their professional future prospects

Slowly but surely, artificial intelligence is establishing itself in the daily lives of employees. But the diffusion of this technology at work is a source of questions for most French people, according to a new survey from Indeed.

Two thirds of French people feel that the changes in work induced by the deployment of AI will lead to changes in their position as well as their role in the company in the next five years. In detail, 41% of working people in France believe that their role will change moderately, and 25% think it will change drastically.

French people who consider themselves prepared for change

But this transition, as drastic as it may be, does not seem to worry them too much. Nearly 60% of respondents are convinced that their employer will support them during this transition. Only 16% think that their superiors will not be able to support them in their professional development.

Regardless, the overwhelming majority of workers surveyed are confident in their ability to adapt in an “AI-esque” job market (85%). This is more than the world average (89%). It is interesting to note that the French even tend to consider themselves, as individuals, as the best prepared for the changes that will occur in the short term in their workplace.

But what changes are we talking about exactly? If we are to believe the respondents, artificial intelligence will make it possible to carry out certain professional tasks more quickly (62%) and to become more efficient in hiring new employees (60%). This technology will also help workers to further personalize their job description (45%) – a practice known as “job crafting” in management literature.

A job-killing technology?

However, the French remain mixed about the real impact of artificial intelligence on their professional future. More than 40% of them believe that the increased use of technology in business will mainly benefit employers, and not their employees. In addition, 50% believe that the opportunities offered by AI will cause more jobs to disappear than they will create.

On this precise point, specialists are still divided. Some predict the disappearance of hundreds of millions of jobs around the world, while others believe that the various forms of artificial intelligence cannot replace employees. They often have to carry out dozens, even hundreds, of different tasks as part of their job. However, versatility is not the machine's strong point.

Enough to push Daron Acemoglu, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, to express doubts about the supposed productivity gains that the large-scale deployment of artificial intelligence would allow. He states in an article, presented at the beginning of April at a conference in Brussels, that they would be less than 1% per year over the next ten years. If his estimates are correct, everything suggests that AI is not ready to kill jobs.

*This survey was conducted by YouGov, on behalf of Indeed, via an online survey from November 30 to December 21, 2023. 9,592 employees, 4,592 employers/managers and 2,487 HR decision-makers, employed full-time, responded or part-time in 11 countries, including France.