Ready to Grip AI's Potential? Insights from an Exploratory Study on Perceptions of Human-AI Collaboration

Andreia Gabriela Andrei, Mara Mațcu-Zaharia, Dragoș Florentin Mariciuc


One of the emerging technologies arising with Industry 4.0 is generative artificial intelligence (AI). Despite its disruptive nature and controversies, the effective and ethical use of AI is increasingly preoccupying organizations of all sizes as well as their employees. Focusing on generative AI, this paper presents findings from a qualitative study that provides insights into how Generation Z, the newest workforce, perceives human-AI collaboration. Based on in-depth interviews and a micro-meso-macro approach, the study reveals a dual perspective. Participants recognized the advantages AI brings, such as increased efficiency, productivity, and information availability. However, they were concerned about various risks such as: technology addiction, job loss, data privacy and ethical issues. At the micro level, generative AI was seen as beneficial for providing information and inspiration, but over-reliance could limit people's skills and create dependency. At the meso, organizational level, it could increase efficiency and productivity, but potentially replace jobs. At the macro, societal level, generative AI could support innovation but risks dehumanizing communication and relationships. Data privacy and ethics concerns were expressed at all three levels, indicating that a combination of institutional safeguards and awareness of data privacy and ethics at all levels is required to achieve the full benefits of generative AI. This would help organisations to capitalise on technological advances and support the development of ethical use of AI tools.


AI; generative AI; Human-AI collaboration; generation Z; Industry 4.0

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