More than half of Canadians anticipate a recession within the next year; one-third believe we are already in a recession, according to new data from Dye & Durham.
“It’s clear that many Canadians have been feeling pinched by this high interest rate environment and have seen their purchasing power throttled over the past year,” stated Martha Vallance, Chief Operating Officer of Dye & Durham, which provides practice management solutions empowering legal professionals.
“This has had a downstream effect on everything from housing and retail to legal services over the past 12 months,” she said.
With the Canadian economy poised on the edge of uncertainty, a new dimension is gaining traction that could redefine the way business operates: Artificial Intelligence.
However, Dye & Durham’s recent “Canadian Pulse Report for Q3 2023” points to a paradox in the AI landscape. While a vast majority (87%) of Canadians are dabbling with AI tools, there remains a hesitance in embracing the technology when placed in the hands of professionals.
Early in this era of generative AI, Canadians are known to have mixed feelings about the rapidly spreading technology. Is it the Next Big Thing—or just another buzzword, destined to go the way of “digital” or “mobile” or “social”? And can the tech be trusted?
As interest rates and economic indicators sway, AI could be a stabilizing force that brings about efficiency, cost reduction, and accuracy in fintech, the D&D report suggests. But one challenge lies in bridging the comfort gap for consumers and professionals alike.
Less than one-in-ten Canadians use AI weekly at work, while over 40% don’t foresee AI impacting their careers, data shows. For this reason and others it appears we’re not yet comfortable with pros using Gen AI: A majority expressed discomfort with skilled professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, and financiers incorporating the novel tech into their services.
Knowing how AI is used, and that a human element is still present, alleviates much of the negative pressure opposing AI adoption. Recent LinkedIn data reinforces this notion—while a vast majority of tech talent are excited to leverage AI, more than half want to be more familiarized with the tech before fully embracing it.
“It’s clear that there is considerable interest in the potential of AI amongst the average Canadian, but as with many new and revolutionary technologies there remains concerns—founded or otherwise—that can slow adoption and consumer benefit,” stated David Nash, Chief Product Officer of Dye & Durham.
Many in Canada believe AI has the potential to advance their careers, but a number worry that their employer is not on top of skills training and adoption of the evolving tech. As a result, “AI anxiety” has some workers concerned that other talent or companies will push ahead, leaving others behind in the dust, posits LinkedIn’s Future of Work: AI at Work report.
Once consumers and users become familiar and comfortable with AI, though, corporate adoption may skyrocket, according to Nash. The benefits are tangible, though clients should be informed specifically regarding how service they receive may be changing and improving.
“Professionals see the enormous potential for AI to provide cost, efficiency and accuracy benefits in their day-to-day roles,” he said. “It will be critical in these early days for [fintech] professionals to educate their clients on how AI is both being deployed in their firms and how it will be able to improve the service their clients are receiving.”
Conducted quarterly, the Dye & Durham Canadian Pulse Report is designed to uncover trends and insights into Canadian sentiment surrounding three key areas: the economy, technology, and the real estate market.