Eight findings on how generative AI is perceived in the Finnish workforce

Blog post
Arash Hajikhani,
Carolyn Cole

In the rapidly evolving world of technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands out as a transformative force. Recently, generative AI has drawn significant attention for its potential to revolutionise industries. To capture the speed of change, we recently conducted two surveys at VTT in the Finnish professional landscape. The studies were carried out three months apart in collaboration with the professional community Tekniikan akateemiset TEK in order to capture the rapid changes. Read the report.

The first round, held in June 2023, saw participation from 334 respondents, and the subsequent round, in September 2023, witnessed an increased response with 548 participants. This methodology offered a dynamic view of the shifting opinions and sentiments regarding generative AI within the Finnish professional landscape. By having the chance to utilise TEK’s member poll, we were able to engage the insights of academic engineers and architects in Finland.  

To summarise the observations of these surveys, the permeation of generative AI into the Finnish workforce unpacks a compelling narrative of evolving opportunities and challenges. The insights gained have deepened our understanding of how generative artificial intelligence shapes the work practices, work efficiency and perceptions of job security in Finland.

We are intrigued by our eight findings

  1. The use of artificial intelligence and productivity is a rising trend among academic engineers and architects in Finland

    A notable increase in productivity was observed among those experimenting with AI in June, even at this early stage. This trend has now increased with a 5.1% escalation in use of AI tools, reaching 48% of which 39% is attributable to generative AI, signifying a more stable and accepted perception of AI’s impact on efficiency and productivity.

  2. Management sees the need for AI skills

    The study shows that individuals in management positions feel a stronger need to enhance their AI skills compared to those in expert duties. This could be attributed to the broader responsibilities and vision that management roles entail, emphasising the importance of staying updated with technological advancements.

  3. Belief in possibilities of AI to replace tasks is getting stronger

    While generative AI continues to demonstrate multifaceted applicability across varied job roles, a significant revelation from the second survey is the solidifying belief in AI’s potential for task replacement in the long term, indicating a mature acceptance and integration into regular work settings.

  4. AI replacing tasks is a concern, but not a major threat

    While there are concerns, most individuals don't anticipate a significant overhaul of their job roles. However, the perceived need for skill enhancement remains high, indicating a proactive approach towards adapting to AI-driven changes.

  5. AI skills and its introduction into use have amplified

    The second survey signals an upward shift in agreement concerning AI adoption. This suggests that participants’ insights have enhanced or their concerns regarding its integration into the workplace have been mitigated.

  6. AI training progressed considerably in companies

    The second survey signals an upliftment in AI-related training and a pronounced application of clear AI usage policies among organisations.

  7. Trust in job security has strengthened

    The first survey posited that AI learning didn't notably sway the sentiment around job security. However, the subsequent survey showcases a bolstering of job security confidence. This progression might be attributed to the employees' first-hand experiences with AI, where they have found that AI can be a complementary rather than competing element in their job roles. Alternatively, it may reflect normalisation of AI in the workplace as awareness has grown, and thus a decrease in apprehension.

  8. Rapid adoption of AI triggers varied emotions

    Even though early adopters of AI initially exhibited a small decline in job security confidence, the comprehensive sentiment remains optimistic.

How should different players navigate when adopting generative AI?

For organisations we suggest adoption of a future-oriented approach by integrating robust AI policies and ensuring comprehensive training frameworks. The upward trend in AI utilisation underscores the imperative to embed AI literacy at every organisational level.

Policymakers, note that it is paramount to formulate policies that safeguard employee interests and facilitate smooth transitions amidst evolving job roles due to AI integrations.

For professionals, consistent upskilling and reskilling in tandem with emerging AI technologies will be pivotal in navigating through the dynamically altering professional landscapes.

As the world is increasingly influenced by AI, businesses, policymakers and professionals are obliged to collaborate and navigate through the multifaceted impacts caused by it. Continuous exploration, learning, and adaptation will be the keystones as we stride into an AI-augmented future.

Arash Hajikhani
Arash Hajikhani
Research Team Leader
Carolyn Cole
Carolyn Cole
Research Scientist
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