AI or human touch – public perception of future workforce roles in the UK
May 30th, 2023, Kineree Shah

AI or human touch – public perception of future workforce roles in the UK

The future of artificial intelligence (AI) is a topic that has sparked plenty of debate and curiosity in the past few months, with varied opinions on how it might revolutionise jobs across different sectors. A YouGov survey sheds light on the public's perception of this very issue, offering some compelling insights.

Among the listed occupations, technical support (29%), writing copy for websites (28%), accounting (28%) and software development (26%) were the most common roles where consumers anticipated AI to outperform humans within the next five years.

On the other hand, fewer Britons felt that AI would outperform humans in roles that typically involve a more personalised touch. One in five (20%) thought that AI could surpass humans in art or graphic design, a field that is often associated with creativity and human ingenuity. Fewer still (18%) foresaw AI excelling in courier or delivery services and as travel agents. Similarly, more than one-tenth (16%) of Britons expected AI to provide superior financial advice.

In traditionally human-centric roles such as customer service and sales, about one in eight (13%) felt AI could do a better job. This dropped to one in ten (10%) for recruiting, suggesting a stronger reliance on human judgement and interpersonal skills in these domains.

As for roles with significant responsibility and expertise, such as pharmacists and journalists, less than one in ten consumers (9% and 8% respectively) believed that AI would outperform humans. The least likely profession where consumers think AI will outperform humans is doctors (5%). On a related note, it may be interesting to explore the attitude of Britons towards AI and healthcare.

There is a clear inclination towards acknowledging the role of AI in fields that are technical and rule-based. However, when it comes to roles requiring personal interaction, creativity, or high-stakes decision-making, there remains a preference for the human touch.

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YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes of 2007 for UK market. All surveys were conducted online in March 2023. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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