ChatGPT’s November 2022 launch turned the working world rapidly on its head. Now the AI tool has more than 100 million users active every month and is helping employees across the globe complete a remarkably varied range of day-to-day tasks and duties.
A survey conducted by Tech.co in May 2023 has found that almost half (47%) of business leaders and decision-makers say they’re considering farming out responsibilities to AI tools rather than hiring new employees – although others are skeptical over whether it would replace entire roles at their company or firm.
Our survey also found that business leaders and decision-makers think that, on average, more than a quarter of their current workload could be completed by ChatGPT or similar tools.
Tech.co’s Survey of Business Leaders and Decision Makers
Tech.co asked a global cohort of 93 business leaders and decision-makers a series of questions about AI and its impact on their firm and personal workload.
Their businesses and start ups spanned a variety of sectors and industries, including legal, healthcare, insurance, retail, public relations, software, print, tech, and consulting.
Not all respondents answered every query we posed to them, so we've specified the number that responded to each question individually throughout this article.
47% of Business Leaders Would Consider AI Tools Over New Hires
72 business leaders and decision-makers responded to our first query: “Would you consider not hiring new employees, and instead allow AI tools to carry out the role instead?”
47.2% said that they would consider turning to tools powered by artificial intelligence rather than hiring a new employee, whereas 52.8% said they weren’t prepared to do this.
“There are already certain tasks I used to delegate to contract workers which I now handle myself with AI tools,” designer and entrepreneur Viputheshwar Sitaraman told Tech.co.
However, he also pointed out that, “AI is slower than having a real person handle the task” and highlight instances “where information is too sensitive to delegate or outsource” to AI tools at the moment.
However, Sitaraman also said “once locally-hosted AI tools are powerful enough,' he intended to ‘use AI tools to handle these in-house roles.”
“I am willing to limit hiring and pay my current employees more if we can increase productivity and use AI. I have no problem transferring that money to our employees who are intelligently using AI” – John Waters, owner of Waters Business Consulting.
Waters, whose business is based in Phoenix, Arizona, predicts that artificial intelligence “will be a game changer in the business consulting industry”.
Many disagreed, however. “I still think that AI tools cannot recreate or replicate human achievement and I do not believe that this will change any time soon” says Christopher Rogers, Chief Operating Officer of Carenet Health.
“A company's workforce makes up its culture and is the backbone of the organization. The community and comradery that people provide cannot be replicated with AI.”
Over Half of Business Leaders Say AI Tools Won’t Replace Roles
52 business leaders and decision-makers responded to our second query: “How long do you think it’ll be before an AI tool like ChatGPT replaces an entire employee's role at your workplace?”
Of that cohort, 51.9% said that ChatGPT and similar AI tools would never replace an entire role in their business. This was the most common answer to the question we received.
“Being a small business, it will never replace an entire role,” explains Jeff Moriarty, owner of Indiana-based jewelry store Moriarty's Gem Art. “But [AI] will definitely take a lot of work away from all of our associates and allow them to focus on other projects” he added.
Many of the respondents spoke of how AI tools will simply support the work of existing roles, but five business leaders that responded to our query told us that ChatGPT was already replacing entire roles at their companies.
“AI can get me content in seconds when an employee might take days to produce something equivalent” Nance L. Shick, Employment Attorney and Mediator at Third Ear Conflict Resolution, told Tech.co. “It also comes at a fraction of the cost of an employee, who would require a substantial amount of money, time, and energy.”
“I might never hire a content curator again” she continued. “My next marketing hire will likely be a manager who can analyze and strategize more effectively than a human or AI assistant.”
Over a Quarter of Workload Could Be Completed by AI
45 business leaders and decision-makers answered our third query: “How much (in %) of your current workload could be completed by AI tools such as ChatGPT?”.
On average, leaders and decision-makers said that 26.8%* of their personal workload could be handed over to these sorts of tools. Only two people that responded to this query said that no aspects of their current workloads could be handed over to ChatGPT.
“I'm using ChatGPT extensively for generating marketing copy, social media content, and marketing emails. So far it’s saved hours of weekly time I'd otherwise spend on manually creating these assets” – Jason Havner, General Manager of QuickDumpsters.
Saumil Patel, co-founder of codeowners.com, told Tech.co that around half of his workload can now be completed by “AI tools like ChatGPT, Copilot, and Warp.”
“These tools assist me in tasks such as writing boilerplate code, debugging, understanding pull requests, analyzing user feedback, creating product one-pagers, and sprint planning,” he remarked.
AI: Changing the Way We Work Every Day
ChatGPT, Bard, and other AI tools are rapidly changing the way staff members in all sorts of roles go about their workday, from junior employees right up to directors and CEOs.
Gone are the days when manual labor roles were touted as the most likely to be impacted by AI – now, jobs that consist of knowledge work equally as vulnerable. Everything from coding to legal advice can now be carried out by AI – and ChatGPT has only been available to the public for around six months.
Although opinions seem to be split among the businesses we spoke to on the topic of whether ChatGPT or a similar AI tool will replace an entire role soon, with new use cases arising almost every day, it’s really hard to predict precisely what the near future holds.
*When business leaders gave us a range estimate, such as 20-30%, we took the middle value (25%). Answers relating to the workload of their entire business were also excluded.