Over the past year since OpenAI’s ChatGPT came onto the scene, AI has completely reshaped and disrupted the world of work.
Conversations about AI have increased 70% globally on professional social network LinkedIn, and 28% of 14,000 global employees surveyed by Salesforce said they are already using the newest iteration of AI, generative AI, at work.
The trend is only moving upwards with 32% expecting to use generative AI at work in the next year.
The reason is that employers and workers alike see real benefits from AI. According to the Salesforce research, mastering generative AI will increase job satisfaction (51%), cause workers to be more sought after by employers (47%) and will enable them to get paid more than those without AI skills (44%).
LinkedIn’s survey of 1,000 business leaders across Europe found that 82% were optimistic about the benefits of AI. This rises to 93% in Germany, and drops slightly to 81% for the UK and 80% for France.
The main benefits for AI for these business leaders it that it will automate manual, boring tasks (60%), increase productivity (53%), and free up time for bigger, more creative thinking (50%).
In fact, LinkedIn’s research found that 38% of leaders think AI will create new roles. Job posts mentioning AI doubled across Europe, and there was three-fold increase in the number of ‘Head of AI’ roles advertised on LinkedIn.
The need for skills and guardrails for AI
Talking exclusively to UNLEASH about the data, Olivier Sabella, vice-president of LinkedIn Talent Solutions for EMEA and LATAM exclusively tells UNLEASH: “Even if somebody isn’t changing jobs, the job that they do is most likely changing around them.
“LinkedIn data shows that the skills needed for jobs have changed 25% over the past eight years. That number is expected to reach at least 65% by 2030 – accelerated by rapid developments in AI.”
All of this means that employers need to really change their approach to talent – they won’t necessarily be able to hire people with all of the the right skills.
Sabella adds: “We’ll increasingly see employers think of themselves as educators – ‘training to hire’ through onboardings, apprenticeships, and academies, as well as embracing upskilling initiatives to help guide employees into new roles, new functions, and perhaps even new careers.”
And, of course, “HR teams will be a critical partner on this journey, ensuring that companies have the skills, talent and programs they need to maximize AI’s potential”, notes Sabella.
HR departments will also be key in figuring out to regulate AI and its use at work, something which Salesforce’s report noted was an issue.
While 28% of employees are using generative AI at work, 55% using unapproved tools – and 40% are using actively banned tools.
The issue is that there is a lack of clear policies around the use of AI at work – in fact, more than one in three have no guidelines for the use of AI at work at all, and seven in ten workers have had no training on AI.
Talking about these findings, Salesforce’s chief ethical and humane use officer Paula Goldman commented: “To realize AI’s full potential, it’s critical that we invest in the employees using the technology as much as the technology itself.
“With clear guidelines, employees will be able to understand and address AI’s risks while also harnessing its innovations to supercharge their careers.”
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