AI & the working world: Positive expectations in general – skepticism in concrete terms

Results of the latest CIVEY survey conducted by Fink & Fuchs as part of “Navigating AI” – an online event in cooperation with the German Association for Human Resource Management (DGFP) and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role in the digital transformation of the working world. At the same time, the topic of AI is surrounded by fears, hypes and myths, especially with regard to HR work. How do employees in Germany feel about the use of AI-based systems in their work environment and specifically in the area of HR? To answer this question, Fink & Fuchs AG surveyed around 1,600 employees and HR professionals via the opinion research company Civey. The results show that artificial intelligence (AI) is still more of a trend than a reality for most companies. The attitude of respondents toward AI fluctuates between optimism and skepticism.


New opportunities through AI

Not even a quarter of the respondents reported that their company uses chatbots or other AI-based tools. Yet many respondents associate positive expectations with AI: for example, half of employees and HR professionals believe that companies will be more successful in the long term thanks to AI support. A clear majority believe that AI will create new job profiles – employees (84.9 percent) even more so than HR professionals (66.1 percent).


AI recommendations are accepted – if they are in line with one’s own assumptions

In terms of their own working lives, however, the opinion picture is much more critical. More than three quarters of HR professionals (77.5 percent) and 57.4 percent of employees would not follow the recommendations of artificial intelligence if they contradicted their own assumptions.

Basically, around half of all respondents rate a scenario as negative in which AI also takes over more complex tasks from their field of work. The acceptance of AI in decision-making processes is therefore low when it becomes concrete, however. Especially when AI decisions influence a person’s career. For example, HR managers in particular reject (59.4 percent) the idea of using AI-supported analyses to make personnel decisions. Among the employees surveyed, 53.3 percent reject this basis for decision-making.


HR particularly skeptical: More value-neutral decisions through AI?

HR staff in particular doubt that AI systems make more value-neutral decisions (41.6 percent). Only 13.3 percent agree that this is the case. Among salaried employees, both positions are balanced at around 28 percent each.

When it comes to working with AI, with text-based dialog systems, for example, most of the participants consider themselves to be confident. Despite this fact, two-thirds would not disclose more information to a human-looking chatbot than to a less human-looking one.


AI: Assistance instead of competition

“As the survey results show, AI has only played a minor role in the operational HR practice of German companies thus far,” analyzes Elisabeh Bartke from the DGFP. However, the interest of HR professionals in this sensitive topic has increased significantly since the outbreak of the corona pandemic at the latest, Bartke adds. “In the medium term, AI will soon be indispensable and will at least take over administrative tasks to relieve employees in the HR area. The demand for skills such as communication skills, interdisciplinary thinking and digital understanding will thus come even more to the fore.”

DFKI company spokesman Reinhard Karger is convinced that AI can support HR professionals: “The level of maturity achieved by the technologies is ready for practical use, the digitalization of companies is advanced, and the EU’s planned AI regulation creates a legally secure framework for the productive use of AI in HR. Now it’s a matter of not getting lost in imaginary human-machine competition, but defining concrete assistance functions so that powerful tools can be developed for the diverse knowledge work in HR.”


Survey in the context of “Navigating AI” – a new online format by Fink & Fuchs, the DGFP and the DFKI

Fink & Fuchs initiated and designed the Civey survey as part of the online event “Navigating AI – Artificial Intelligence and Human Resources,” a cooperation with the German Association for Human Resource Management (DGFP) and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).


European Communication Monitor 2019 released

Communication profession in Europe is challenged by rising mistrust, but new organisational advocates and Artificial Intelligence offer opportunities to shape public discourse

The results of the world’s largest study into strategic communication and public relations are presented today. The European Communication Monitor 2019 surveyed 46 countries producing the following highlights:

  • Communication practitioners experience a low level of trust in their profession,
    but feel confident on a personal level with their colleagues, bosses, clients and audiences
  • External experts and top management are rated as the most trusted organisational advocates with marketing/sales and communications lagging behind
  • Artificial Intelligence is expected to impact the profession, but communication practitioners lack competencies and experience
  • Sponsored content is frequently used by every second organisation in Europe
  • There are significant differences between countries, as well as companies and non-profits across Europe

Continue reading European Communication Monitor 2019 released

Fink & Fuchs is new partner of the European Communication Monitor

The communications agency has been supporting the European Communication Monitor (ECM), the world’s largest transnational survey on strategic communication issues, as a “Digital Communication Partner” since mid-February. The Fink & Fuchs team is actively participating in the redesign and operation of ECM’s online content, the development of additional information offerings and the active marketing of results. The Wiesbaden-based agency brings to the table of the 3-year partnership its 15-year expertise in the design and marketing of scientific research projects.

“We are delighted to have gained in Fink & Fuchs a new strategic partner who will continuously advise and actively support us in structuring our information offerings and marketing our research results,” says the Director of the ECM’s research projects Prof. Dr. Ansgar Zerfaß of the University of Leipzig. Continue reading Fink & Fuchs is new partner of the European Communication Monitor

European Communication Monitor 2016

Corporate communications is becoming an increasingly datafied business but communicators still lack analytical skills. While communications is becoming an increasingly datafied profession, many communicators still lack the analytical skills to make sense of data.

Big Data and Algorithms gain importance in Corporate Communications

More than 70 per cent of European communication professionals believe that big data will change their profession but only one quarter has a developed understanding of the topic. Continue reading European Communication Monitor 2016

Delphi-Study Social Media Governance 2012 released

Social Media Communications in Corporations and Organizations: Larger budgets, more management support, yet still little evaluation

Corporations and other organizations in Germany are handling the topic of social media communications more and more strategically. Most have moved beyond the experimentation stage. The learning processes of the past few years has led to increased investments in overall organizational structures. This is one of the key results identified by the nationwide study Social Media Governance 2012 (Delphi) in Germany, for which 860 communications professionals working in companies, governmental institutions, associations and non-profit organizations were surveyed by the University of Leipzig.

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The joint project with Fink & Fuchs Public Relations (Wiesbaden) and the professional magazine “pressesprecher” (Berlin) was conducted for the third time in a row and can therefore be used to show developments over time. The quantitative findings reported here will be subsequently condensed into future outlooks for social media communications by an expert panels of intellectual leaders from the media, business and science. Continue reading Delphi-Study Social Media Governance 2012 released

Study Social Media Governance 2011 – a Must-Read

Expertise, Structures and Strategies of Companies, Governmental Institutions and Non-Profit Organizations communicating on the Social Web

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Continue reading Study Social Media Governance 2011 – a Must-Read

Study Social Media Governance 2010

How companies, the public sector, and NGOs handle the challenges of transparent communication on the Internet


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Social media have been introduced to organizations and feature high up on their agendas. This is not only true for the United States, but also for Germany as the largest and most innovative economy in Europe. Within the scope of “Enterprise 2.0,” the rise of social media not only applies to public relations and corporate communications, but to other departments and functions as well.

Top management is faced with the challenge of finding ways of dealing with this relatively new and usually anarchically introduced topic. As a result, the demand for systematically reflected strategies and associated regulatory frameworks for social media activities is greater than ever.  These were the findings of a recent scientific survey entitled “Social Media Governance – How companies, the public sector, and NGOs handle the challenges of transparent communication on the Internet.” While 54 per cent of the surveyed organizations already utilize social media, so far only 16 per cent have the necessary groundwork for strategic measures in the sense of Social Media Governance.
Continue reading Study Social Media Governance 2010