May 11, 2023 - World

Survey: Latinos open to AI for minor tasks but fear it will replace them

Animated illustration of a robot thinking, with ellipses moving inside its thought bubble.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Latin Americans and U.S. Latinos in a recent poll showed more willingness than others to delegate parts of their work to AI tools despite saying they fear the tech could eventually replace their jobs.

The big picture: The survey from Microsoft's Annual Work Trend Index, published Tuesday, comes as generative AI and related tools have become more widely accessible.

  • Google announced yesterday that its Bard chatbot will soon be available in Spanish and Portuguese. ChatGPT already is.

By the numbers: The survey included 31,000 workers from 31 countries who shared their thoughts on AI adoption. Microsoft did not include the racial, ethnic and nationality breakdown in its report published online but shared the data with Axios Latino.

  • 53% of U.S. Latino workers surveyed for the new poll said they're worried that AI could replace their jobs, as did half of respondents in Latin American countries.
  • In comparison, 46% of Black U.S. workers and 34% of white non-Hispanic U.S. workers said the same.
  • 76% of U.S. Latinos also said they'd be willing to delegate administrative tasks to AI, such as creating summaries of meetings.

What they're saying: "One hypothesis could be that these workers are more willing to delegate to AI in an effort to better balance work and life," Colette Stallbaumer, the general manager for Microsoft 365 and its Future of Work division, tells Axios Latino.

Yes, but: Experts in the field have been warning that a rush to deploy artificial intelligence could backfire.

  • "These new technologies offer opportunities but also challenges. In Latin America specifically there is still very little regulation for AI use or development, not to mention a wide digital divide," says Héctor Benítez Pérez, head of the computing and IT department at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  • Microsoft says in its report that "[workplace] leaders will need to help employees learn to work safely and responsibly alongside AI."

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