Skip to Content
Skip to Footer

77% of Workers Trust an Autonomous AI Future. Humans Are Critical to Getting There.

Today’s workers already trust AI to do almost half of their work tasks, according to new Salesforce research. While workers feel most comfortable when AI and humans work together, they are also beginning to trust AI to complete time-saving tasks autonomously, like writing code, uncovering data insights, and drafting written communications. 

Workers aren’t delegating everything to AI just yet. The research shows that today’s workers prefer tasks like onboarding, training, and keeping data safe to be overseen by humans. But this likely won’t last for long. The data also suggests that investing in knowledge and education builds trust in an autonomous AI future. 

Why it matters: As technology advances, people are getting a glimpse into a future in which AI can operate entirely on its own. The Salesforce research, which surveyed nearly 6,000 people around the world, revealed that workers are excited about an AI-powered future. Workers also stressed the importance of a human touch as they build trust, knowledge, and experience with AI tools.

The research found:

Global workers, especially leaders, believe in an autonomous future and are already offloading tasks to AI 

Leaders trust AI to do more of their work than employees do — leaders trust AI to do 51% of their work, while rank-and-file workers trust AI to do 40%. 

  • Workers today already trust AI to do roughly 43% of their work tasks, indicating a shift among workers to offload tasks to AI.
  • 77% of global workers will eventually trust AI to operate autonomously. This number includes:
    • 10% of global workers who trust AI to operate autonomously today.
    • 26% of global workers who will trust AI to operate autonomously in less than three years.
    • 41% of global workers who will trust AI to operate autonomously in three or more years.

While workers prefer AI-human collaboration, they’re starting to trust AI to handle certain tasks alone

  • Today, 54% of global workers trust humans and AI to do most work tasks together. 
  • When asked if these workers trusted AI to do any of these same tasks autonomously, the answer, for a small group, was some. Tasks they felt comfortable with offloading to autonomous AI included:
    • Writing code: 15% trust AI to write code autonomously.
    • Uncovering data insights: 13% trust AI to uncover data insights on its own.
    • Develop communications: 12% trust AI to develop internal and external communications without a human.
    • Act as a personal assistant: 12% trust autonomous AI to act as their personal assistant.
  • Other tasks, according to respondents, require having a human involved right now. Global workers are most likely to trust humans alone to do the following:
    • Be inclusive: 47% trust humans alone to be inclusive. 
    • Onboard and train: 46% trust humans alone to onboard and train employees.
    • Keep data safe: 40% trust humans alone to keep data safe. 

Human involvement and enablement can pave the way to an autonomous AI future

  • Human involvement is needed to build trust in AI.
    • 63% of global workers say more human involvement would build their trust in AI. 
  • Concerns about AI may come from a lack of understanding. Fifty-four percent of global workers say they do not know how AI is implemented or governed in their workplace.
    • Workers who are knowledgeable about how AI is implemented and governed in their workplace are 5x more likely to say they will trust AI to operate autonomously within the next two years than those who are not knowledgeable.
  • Training may be another key to trusted autonomy:
    • 62% of workers say more skill-building and training opportunities would build their trust in AI. 

The AI Knowledge Gender Gap: Males are 94% more likely to say they are knowledgeable about how AI is implemented and governed in their workplace compared to females. 

Salesforce perspective: “Workers are excited about an AI-powered future and the research shows us that human engagement can help us get there. By empowering humans at the helm of today’s AI systems, we can build trust and drive adoption – enabling workers to unlock all that AI has to offer.” – Paula Goldman, Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer

Go deeper:

Methodology: Salesforce conducted a double-anonymous survey in partnership with YouGov from March 20 to April 3, 2024. It included nearly 6,000 full-time knowledge workers representing companies of a variety of sizes and sectors in nine countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, France, Germany, India, Singapore, and Switzerland. The survey took place online.


Get the latest Salesforce News