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Future of Professionals Report

Thomson Reuters – Future of Professionals Report. AI-powered technology & the forces shaping professional work. July 2024. “Key findings – First, the productivity benefits we have been promised are now becoming more apparent. As AI adoption has become widespread, professionals can more tangibly tell us about how they will use this transformative technology and the greater efficiency and value it will provide. The most common use cases for AI-powered technology thus far include drafting documents, summarizing information, and performing basic research. Second, there’s a tremendous sense of excitement about the value that new AI-powered technology can bring to the day-to-day lives of the professionals we surveyed. While more than half of professionals said they’re most excited about the benefits that new AI-powered technologies can bring in terms of time-savings, nearly 40% said the new value that will be brought is what excites them the most. This report highlights how AI could free up that precious commodity of time. As with the adoption of all new technology, change appears moderate and the impact incremental. And yet, within the year, our respondents predicted that for professionals, AI could free up as much as four hours a week. What will they do with 200 extra hours of time a year? They might reinvest that time in strategic work, innovation, and professional development, which could help companies retain or advance their competitive advantage. Imagine the broader impact on the economy and GDP from this increased efficiency. For US lawyers alone, that is a combined 266 million hours of increased productivity. That could translate into $100,000 in new, billable time per lawyer each year, based on current average rates – with similar productivity gains projected across various professions. The time saved can also be reinvested in professional development, nurturing work-life balance, and focusing on wellness and mental health. Moreover, the economic and organizational benefits of these time-savings are substantial. They could lead to reduced operational costs and higher efficiency, while enabling organizations to redirect resources toward strategic initiatives, fostering growth and competitiveness. Finally, it’s important to acknowledge there’s still a healthy amount of reticence among professionals to fully adopt AI. Respondents are concerned primarily with the accuracy of outputs, and almost two-thirds of respondents agreed that data security is a vital component of responsible use. These concerns aren’t trivial, and they warrant attention as we navigate this new era of technology. While AI can provide tremendous productivity benefits to professionals and generate greater value for businesses, that’s only possible if we build and use this technology responsibly.”

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