AI’s Value to Organizations Parallels Value to Individuals, Report Finds

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Personal benefit from AI was also linked to greater job satisfaction, according to the MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group report.

Organizations are more likely to gain value from artificial intelligence when their workers also feel personally benefited by the technology, according to a report from MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group.

Tuesday’s report, “Achieving Individual – and Organizational – Value with AI,” had three main findings: organizations benefit from AI when individuals also benefit from the technology; individuals feel they gain from using AI when it helps their job performance, autonomy and relationships at work; and managers can improve the use of AI at work by fostering trust in and understanding of how to use the technology.

Specifically, the report found that 64% of survey respondents personally gained value from using AI and were 3.4 times more likely to be satisfied in their jobs than workers who did not get value from AI. Moreover, despite assertions that AI will replace jobs, the report noted that 60% or respondents felt that AI tools are more like a coworker.

“Our research finds that individual use and individual value are crucial for organizational success with AI,” the report said.

The report also found that, while requiring the use of AI and building trust in the technology both increase the likelihood that individuals will use AI regularly, requiring it has a greater impact. Additionally, individuals that were required to use AI were 1.4 times more likely to gain value from using it than individuals not required to use the technology. 

And while initially requiring the use of AI can help with its adoption, especially when there is resistance, maintaining individual autonomy and allowing workers to override the technology is important. Employees required to use AI were 3 times as likely to use it than those not required, but individuals who could override AI were 2.1 times more likely to use it than those that could not override it. 

Furthermore, of respondents that reported their organization gaining moderate, significant or extensive value from AI, 85% stated that they also personally gain value from AI. 

However, the report noted that “the value individuals derive from using AI is itself difficult to measure, partly because of the many ways individuals use the technology.”

According to the report, individuals derived value from gaining competence in their jobs, such as through using AI to make better decisions. They also obtained value from increased autonomy. For example, AI can improve individual autonomy by helping employees learn from prior actions, project outcomes of current actions, gain salient information about previous relevant situations and receive  feedback on the consequences of past actions to recommend improvements. 

Individuals also reported gaining value in the form of stronger relationships. Specifically, the report discovered that respondents felt using AI had improved interactions with their team members (56%), with their managers (47%) and with other people in their departments (52%).

However, the report found that managers can improve individual use of and value from AI by making sure employees can easily interpret AI-based outcomes and recommendations. Users that can interpret AI outcomes are 2.8 times as likely to trust AI than those that cannot interpret them, according to the report. 

Workers who understand how to work with AI are also 1.7 times more likely to feel they gain value from it than those who do not understand the technology. Managers can also promote awareness, such as increasing transparency about when people are using AI, who is using it and how it relates to the organization’s strategy, to help workers see its value. According to the report, many workers did not realize they were using AI. But when provided with specific examples of AI products, 43% acknowledged they are regularly or sometimes using the technology. 

“Lack of awareness can be a byproduct of the growing extent of AI use,” the report said. “After all, AI is often a small but critical embedded component of a larger system. As a result, individuals underreport AI use and therefore the value they derive from the technology. Organizations need to understand all of these uses—both hidden and known—to understand how using AI contributes to individual and organizational value.”

The report provides several recommendations for individuals and organizations to benefit from AI, including: avoid “shiny AI”, instead focusing on customer value and experience; look for benefits for individuals and organizations; do not burden workers to serve the AI tools that will only benefit organizations; and make sure the benefits outweigh the costs to the individual. 

For the report, MIT and Boston Consulting Group surveyed and analyzed records from 1,741 respondents in more than 20 industries and 100 countries, in addition to interviewing 17 executives. 

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