Survey Indicates Public Backing for Government Regulations Safeguarding Employment Amidst the Use of Technologies like ChatGPT
Survey Reveals Public Call for UK Government Regulation of Generative AI Technologies to Protect Jobs
A recent survey indicates that nearly 60% of individuals would like to see the UK government implement regulations regarding the use of generative AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, in workplaces to safeguard employment. This research, conducted by the Prospect trade union, highlights strong public support for regulation amidst calls from prominent figures in the tech industry for restrictions on AI’s rapid development.
Out of more than 1,000 participants surveyed last month, 58% agreed that “the government should establish rules governing the use of generative AI to protect workers’ jobs.” Only 12% believed that the government should refrain from interference, as they believed the benefits of AI would outweigh any associated costs.
While employers have been utilizing various forms of AI, including for target-setting, hiring decisions, and termination, the emergence of technologies like ChatGPT has significantly increased their prominence. ChatGPT alone garnered 100 million users within a span of two months after its launch.
Administrative roles were identified as the most vulnerable to automation, followed by positions in law, architecture, and engineering.
Representing skilled professionals like scientists and engineers, the Prospect trade union expressed concern over the use of AI-driven automated decision-making and workplace surveillance. Andrew Pakes, the union’s deputy general secretary, emphasized that employees often feel uneasy about hidden decision-making processes behind surveillance software and AI tools. He urged the government to engage with both employees and employers promptly to establish fair regulations for utilizing this technology, rather than waiting for issues to escalate.
The survey findings also revealed that 71% of workers would feel uncomfortable with their movements being tracked at work, while 59% expressed discomfort with their keyboard use being monitored while working from home.
In a recent white paper, the UK government seemed to adopt a laissez-faire approach to AI development, with the science, innovation, and technology secretary suggesting that AI had delivered remarkable social and economic benefits for people.