Bosses are torn over whether or not the private sector must shoulder responsibility for job losses as AI replaces roles traditionally performed by humans.
A PwC survey of chief executives has revealed that while 49 per cent believe the government should be responsible for offering displaced workers a safety net, 41 per cent disagree.
Almost two-thirds of 1,378 respondents to the auditor's 22nd annual CEO Survey said the government must incentivise businesses to retrain workers whose jobs are lost to automation, with 72 per cent warning that AI will have a major impact on their organisations inside the next five years.
By 2020 AI will have created 2.3m jobs and eliminated 1.8m roles, according to technology research group Gartner.
A clear majority of chief execs – 70 per cent – said they would support a national strategy from government around AI, and 63 per cent said the state should play a key role on developing the technology.
However, business leaders were split over whether or not companies should be able to self-regulate their use of AI. While 47 per cent were in favour, 44 per cent thought the opposite.
“Businesses have high expectations for what AI could deliver so it’s important that AI policies around the world are fit for purpose,” said Euan Cameron, PwC's UK artificial intelligence lead.
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“Regulation shouldn’t stifle innovation, but it should make sure we’re creating a future that works for everyone. Leaders and AI experts need to work closely with policymakers, regulators and standards institutions to ensure that the right governance is in place to support their ambitions, but crucially also keeps wider society and workers’ best interests at heart.”