News story

AI to save professionals 12 hours per week

Thomson ReutersLearning News

Knowledge workers are optimistic about significant boosts to productivity, with AI poised to redefine workflows, drive innovation, and unlock new opportunities for growth.

Thomson Reuters Future of Professionals report: AI to free up 12 hours per week
Thomson Reuters Future of Professionals report: AI to free up 12 hours per week 

Critical time savings: Survey respondents predict AI to free up 12 hours per week within the next five years, with four hours per week saved in the next year alone the equivalent of adding an additional colleague for every 10 team members. For a U.S. lawyer, this could translate to an additional $100,000 in billable hours.*

Positive outlook on impacts of AI: 77% of professionals believe AI will have a high or transformational impact on their work over the next five years. Additionally, 78% say AI is a "force for good" in their profession, while 37% of respondents haven't yet used GenAI in their work.

Catalyst for innovation: 79% of professionals predict significant or moderate improvement in innovation within their companies over the next five years. Over that same period, they anticipate 56% of work will utilize new AI-powered technology.

Strong appetite for AI standards: 57% of professionals believe certification processes for AI systems should be introduced, and 55% believe professional or industry bodies should make their own standards.

The 2024 Future of Professionals report, by Thomson Reuters, is an annual survey of more than 2,200 professionals working across legal, tax, and risk & compliance fields globally.

Respondents predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to save them 12 hours per week in the next five years, or four hours per week over the upcoming year equating to 200 hours annually. This timesaving potential is the equivalent productivity boost of adding an extra colleague for every 10 team members on staff. Harnessing the power of AI across various professions opens immense economic opportunities. For a U.S. lawyer, this could translate to an estimated $100,000 in additional billable hours.* 

The sharp uptick in interest in AI is a major catalyst for innovation across industries. Overall, 77% of professionals now predict AI will have a high or transformational impact on their work over the next five years, up 10 percentage points from last year. In addition, 79% anticipate innovation at their companies will increase.

"Professionals no longer need to speculate on the potential for AI to impact their work as they are now witnessing its effects firsthand. As we look to the future, one thing is clear: AI-empowered professionals and their companies will outpace those who resist this transformative era," said Steve Hasker, President and CEO, Thomson Reuters. "With professionals predicting that AI will save them up to 200 hours in the next year, the potential economic impact is significant. For a U.S. lawyer, the time saved could translate to up to $100,000 a year in additional billable time, and we can expect similar productivity gains across other professions. The responsible use of AI is crucial, with nearly two-thirds of professionals stressing human oversight. As we navigate this change, we must remember the future of AI is ours to shape."*

This year's study underscores the overwhelming sense of enthusiasm professionals have for AI. AI, and specifically generative AI (GenAI), solutions for the legal, tax, and risk & compliance sectors have been among the most widely adopted categories of professional-grade AI applications to date. In fact, 63% of those surveyed are already using AI-powered technologies as a starting point for tasks, with research, summarization, and drafting cited as the most common use cases.


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* Read the full news statement from Thomson Reuters