Spain is leading the way in adopting artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe, according to EY's latest European AI Barometer. The survey, in which almost 5,000 employees from nine Western European countries took part, shows that 84.4% of Spanish employees use AI technologies, outperforming Switzerland (82%) and Italy (76.7%).

According to EY, Spain is characterized by a high rate of self-training in AI (54%), as some companies have no formal programs. Therefore, 45% of Spanish workers are dissatisfied with the level of AI training they receive. Beatriz Sanz, Global AI Partner at EY, highlights Spain's position in adopting AI, demonstrating "a clear commitment to digitalization and technological innovation." However, for Spain to maintain this leadership role, companies must invest in the training and development of their employees.

Despite this leadership position, Spanish companies still have internal hurdles to overcome, external regulations to comply with, and the complexity of technology to manage. Although most employees use AI, only 63% have access to AI tools, indicating significant room for improvement.


AI in Spain

Spain also leads Europe in terms of benefits, just behind Switzerland. The managers surveyed in Switzerland state that 81% of respondents have made gains thanks to AI, while in Spain, this percentage is 60%. The benefits achieved through AI applications range from optimizing the supply chain to improving marketing and customer experience.

Spain also leads the way in "concern" about employment and artificial intelligence. 78% of workers believe that this technology will lead to job losses, and almost half (49%) believe that their jobs could be affected by AI.

To maximize AI's benefits, Spanish companies need to prioritize the development of AI capabilities. 41.4% of workers are confident that their companies are prepared for the AI transition. Investment in AI in Spain is focused on new software (35%) and upskilling employees (33%).


The future of AI in Spain

According to this survey data from EY, the future looks promising. 88.5% of respondents see the development of AI in a positive light, which is above the European average. The willingness to invest in AI is high: 54% of respondents prioritize this technology. The most optimistic sectors are financial services and TIC (technology, media and telecommunications) with 82% confidence in technological progress.