Workers and Leaders Exaggerate AI Knowledge, Seeking Opportunities for Growth

A recent survey conducted by Canva has shed light on the exaggerated knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI) among professionals at various levels within organizations. While 72% of respondents claimed to be familiar with the term “artificial intelligence,” only 51% said the same about “generative AI.” This discrepancy suggests that professionals may overstate their understanding of AI tools.

Interestingly, the study found that 26% of professionals occasionally exaggerate their knowledge of AI or generative AI to keep up with their superiors or colleagues. Additionally, 20% admitted to completely faking their AI knowledge in work-related conversations. Surprisingly, this behavior was not limited to junior employees. Approximately 38% of senior leaders above the vice president level confessed to overstating or misrepresenting their AI knowledge in both professional and personal settings.

Canva’s co-founder and chief product officer, Cameron Adams, believes that the situation arises from professionals feeling pressured to keep pace with the rapid advancements in AI. Due to a perceived lack of time and resources to explore the technology, individuals resort to exaggeration to create an illusion of familiarity and competence.

Despite these findings, the study also indicates a strong desire among professionals to learn and develop AI skills. Out of those surveyed, 85% expressed interest in acquiring AI knowledge, particularly in their work environments. However, many professionals feel that they are not provided with the necessary opportunities to expand their AI expertise.

To bridge this gap, employers can offer workshops and forums that enable workers to experiment with AI tools within their daily workflows. Creating an environment where employees can explore and share their findings will foster a culture of growth and innovation. Adams emphasizes the importance of businesses finding the right AI tools for specific roles, rather than relying on generalized solutions, such as ChatGPT.

Canva, a graphic design platform based in Sydney, Australia, already incorporates a number of AI touchpoints in its user-facing products. These “magic features” leverage AI technologies to simplify complex tasks, such as the Magic Eraser that effortlessly removes objects from photos.

With AI playing an increasingly pivotal role in various industries, there is a pressing need for professionals to enhance their AI knowledge. By providing the necessary support and resources, organizations can foster a workforce that stays ahead of the curve and capitalizes on the potential of AI.


1. What is the difference between “artificial intelligence” and “generative AI”?

“Artificial intelligence” is a broad term that encompasses the simulation of human intelligence in machines, enabling them to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. “Generative AI,” on the other hand, refers specifically to AI systems that generate new content, such as images, text, or music.

2. Why do professionals exaggerate their AI knowledge?

Professionals often exaggerate their AI knowledge due to the pressure to keep up with the rapidly advancing technology. They may lack the time and resources to explore AI thoroughly, leading them to overstate their familiarity and competence.

3. How can employers help professionals learn AI skills?

Employers can provide workshops and forums that allow professionals to experiment with AI tools within their daily workflows. By creating a supportive environment for learning and knowledge-sharing, organizations can empower their workforce to effectively leverage AI technologies.

4. What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI model developed by OpenAI that can generate human-like responses to text inputs. It is designed to simulate conversation and answer questions across a wide range of topics.

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