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Charted: Changing Sentiments Towards AI in the Workplace

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A series of charts measuring how people feel about having AI in the workplace.

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Is generative AI the catalyst for the next industrial revolution? Or is it a flash in the pan? Is the entire workforce destined to become AI makers and managers?

It’s possible that one, all, or none of these options could be correct. But despite how fast large language models (LLMs) and tools have grown the popularity of artificial intelligence, one thing that is clear is that there are no quick or easy answers.

Amidst all this uncertainty, opinions on how we use AI in the workplace have evolved. Recent survey data from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reveals how the labor force feels about AI in the workplace today, compared to how they felt five years ago.

The consultancy surveyed 13,000 people (C-suite leaders, managers, and frontline employees) in 18 different countries for the results, and divided their top two responses into five categories: Curiosity, Optimism, Concern, Confidence, and Indifference.

ℹ️ Data note: Since the top two feelings were selected and categorized per question, the percentages across categories do not total to 100%.

More Optimism, Less Caution Around AI

General curiosity about AI remains almost unchanged (at 60%) since 2018.

Meanwhile, despite how rapidly AI has advanced in the last five years, or perhaps because of it, more than 50% of workers surveyed are optimistic about AI’s impact on work, a 17 percentage point (p.p.) increase from 2018.

And though 30% remain concerned about AI, this fell 10 p.p. over the same time period.

Sentiment towards AI20182023
Curiosity60%61%
Optimism35%52%
Concern40%30%
Confidence17%26%
Indifference21%14%

Clearly, respondents perceive AI in the workplace far more positively now than they did in 2018. But that’s not all. The respondents’ confidence in how AI can influence their work has also increased (+5 p.p.) and indifference towards it has shrunk significantly (-7 p.p.).

Given the explosive growth in generative AI since the end of 2022—ChatGPT gets 1.8 billion visitors a month—it’s not surprising that workers are far more aware of AI compared to just five years ago.

Optimistic Leaders, Cautious Employees

As with any survey data, the devil is in the details. BCG notes that the sentiments between rungs on the company ladder differ sharply around AI.

A series of charts measuring how different positions in a company feel about having AI in the workplace.

While two-thirds of polled leaders are optimistic about AI in 2023, less than half of polled frontline employees shared the same sentiment. Frontline employees were also the biggest group that responded with concern (nearly 40%).

Importantly, frontline employees are almost as optimistic as they are concerned about AI in the workplace.

PositionOptimismConcern
Leaders62%22%
Managers54%28%
Frontline Employees42%39%

Managers were closer to leaders in their AI optimism, though some experts believe their jobs might actually be the most at risk of being replaced all together.

More Use, More Optimism Around AI

With ChatGPT reaching 100 million active users just two months after launching, it’s clear that more and more people are experimenting with generative AI.

In BCG’s poll, regular AI users—categorized as people who use it at least once a week for work—are nearly three times more optimistic than concerned about AI’s impact on their work in 2023.

AI Use LevelOptimismConcern
Regular62%22%
Rare55%27%
None36%42%

Even rare users are two times more optimistic than cautious, with the non-user category registering the most concern.

Which brings us to who these regular users are.

A series of charts measuring how people who use AI are more optimistic and less concerned about having AI in the workplace.

A staggering 80% of the leaders polled say they’re already regular users of AI, compared to 46% managers and 20% frontline employees.

While eyebrow-raising, these figures are not surprising.

People in leadership positions tend to have a mandate to stay ahead of the curve on current business trends, and along with their less strictly defined roles, have more freedom to try, use, and adopt AI tools while they formulate policies for their workplace.

PositionRegular UserRare UserNonuser
Leaders80%12%8%
Managers46%23%31%
Frontline Employees20%20%60%

At the same time, AI tools may not be green-lit en masse in many workplaces yet, preventing frontline employees from giving them a go.

So Is AI Coming For Jobs or Not?

Regardless of how definitively one can make a claim about artificial intelligence taking away people’s jobs, the survey respondents were unanimous that AI in the workplace will have some kind of an impact on their employment.

Pie charts showing how a vast majority of survey responders want upskilling to dealing with AI in the workplace.

Slightly more than one-third felt that their job is in jeopardy as of 2023, while an overwhelming 86% polled said they needed training to adapt to how AI will transform their work.

With how fast the field is currently transforming, upskilling could be the safest path to follow as the AI revolution unfolds.

Where Does This Data Come From?

Source: The AI at Work: What People Are Saying report from the Boston Consulting Group.

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What is the Median Pay of Magnificent Seven Companies?

The Magnificent Seven companies are fueling stock market gains. In this graphic, we show the median pay of each company in 2023.

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This circle graphic shows the median pay of employees at the Magnificent Seven companies.

What is the Median Pay of Magnificent Seven Companies?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The Magnificent Seven are lifting the stock market to new highs, led by Nvidia, Microsoft, Apple, and Alphabet in particular.

In May alone, these tech giants added $1.4 trillion in market capitalization to the S&P 500—surpassing the combined gains of 296 other stocks during the same period. Notably, Nvidia contributed to more than half of this rise. As tech stocks boom, many are offering robust salaries with substantial stock option plans.

This graphic shows the median pay of the Magnificent Seven companies in 2023, based on analysis from The Wall Street Journal and MyLogIQ.

The Highest Paying Companies in the Magnificent Seven

Below, we show the median employee pay of the Magnificent Seven companies in 2023:

CompanyMedian Employee Pay
2023
CEO Total Pay
2023
Meta$379,050$24.4M
Alphabet$315,531$8.8M
Nvidia$266,939$34.2M
Microsoft$193,770$48.5M
Apple$94,118$63.2M
Tesla$45,811$0M
Amazon$36,274$1.4M

Data for Microsoft is from SEC filings. Total CEO pay includes equity awards and cash pay.

Meta ranks as the highest overall, with a median pay of $379,050, which is more than six times the national median salary.

Not only is it the leading company in the Magnificent Seven, it has one of the highest median pay across S&P 500 companies. Between 2022 and 2023, employee pay increased 28%, following four rounds of layoffs that slashed thousands of employees in its “year of efficiency”.

Following Meta is Google’s parent company, Alphabet, with a median pay of $315,531. The company operates a hybrid work policy, requiring employees to be in the office about three days a week. This mirrors a trend seen across Amazon and Salesforce to encourage in-person collaboration.

At Nvidia, employees received a median pay of $266,939, fueled by its soaring share price. Last year, over $300 million in value was delivered to its staff under its employee stock purchase plan. Along with a competitive pay package, the company offers an unlimited vacation policy along with 22-weeks of paid parental leave.

Falling near the bottom of the pack is Tesla, where the median salary for employees is $45,811. The automotive sector is notorious for steep wage gaps between CEOs and workers, with CEOs often earning 300 times more than the median employee.

In 2023, Tesla CEO Elon Musk earned no compensation, and is instead paid through incentive-based stock options. Recently, a judge invalidated a staggering $56 billion pay package for the executive, deeming it unfair to the company’s shareholders. This pay package was awarded in 2018, with stipulations that Tesla meet certain performance requirements over a 10-year timeframe.

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