Scepticism and fear are preventing Britons from embracing artificial intelligence in the workplace compared with Americans, according to a new study.

SugarCRM commissioned a survey of business executives in the UK and US from CITE Research which found that 47 per cent of Brits are currently using technology powered by AI in the workplace, compared with 55 per cent of Americans.

The trend is also evident in people’s personal lives, with 62 per cent of Brits and 64 per cent of American’s using AI for non-work-related tasks, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

The research also highlighted that when looking ahead, Brits are less open to embracing AI in the future: 69 per cent of American respondents plan to deploy AI in the next two years, compared to 57 per cent in the UK.

Brits were twice as likely not to ever want to use AI, with one in five respondents (20 per cent) opposing the technology, compared with one in ten Americans.

“The results of CITE Research’s survey reflect the industry’s view on the cloud, Big Data and other disruptive technologies over the years,” said Clint Oram, chief marketing officer and co-founder at SugarCRM. “You have a group that is ready to jump in with both feet and a group of naysayers who are absolutely against the technology.

“The rest of us are in the middle. Many have heard all the hype and are intrigued, but they would like some assurances that the positives will outweigh the negatives before they are ready to start spending money on AI tools.

“It’s interesting to see how attitudes differ across the Atlantic and that there is more reluctance from Brits in how AI can be used in their work. The technology offers the potential to reduce monotonous aspects of our working lives but there is a need to be realistic on its capabilities.

“It won’t replace people entirely and there is still a need for human interaction.”

Top concerns about AI on both sides of the Atlantic revolve around trusting the technology. More than half of respondents (52 per cent) worry about data security, with 30 per cent saying it is their top concern.

Forty per cent said they fear AI technology will make errors, and 41 per cent fear losing control over the data.

While 30 per cent said they fear losing their jobs because of AI, only 12 per cent list that as their top concern.

US participants were also more likely than Brits to say they want AI to help with communication with customers and planning their day.

Automating data entry was the most popular task across the board for AI, with more than half believing it would help in their organisation.

The UK Government recently set out its vision for AI adoption in the UK.

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