Only 1 in 10 employees have skills related to AI: Salesforce

While companies are investing heavily in AI, the vast majority of employees have yet to use AI — globally, “only 1 in 10” of their daily roles currently include AI capabilities, Salesforce said.

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But even though companies are investing heavily in AI, most employees are yet to use it – “only 1 in 10” globally say their daily role currently includes AI capabilities.

Such skills include AI-based programming languages, machine learning and automation testing.

That’s the “excitement” employees feel at the prospect of using generative AI at work, Salesforce said.

“In fact, more employees were excited about their workplace (58%) than worried about being replaced in their jobs,” the cloud software company added.

Generative AI’s ability to create text, images and other content in response to human input has created new jobs that threaten to be replaced by tech.

With its potential to complement human potential, AI should be used as a tool to empower rather than hinder or replace human resources.

Sujit Abraham.

sales force

A recent Goldman Sachs report found that up to 300 million jobs worldwide could be affected by AI and automation, such as office and administrative support roles.

“Having the potential to complement human capabilities, AI should be used as a tool to empower the workforce rather than disrupt or replace it,” said Sujit Abraham, senior vice president and general manager of Salesforce ASEAN.

“[But] Not without risk. This aspect is included in our Generative AI Guide to help guide the development and implementation of this transformative technology that includes human involvement.

People leaders will increasingly need “data security skills, ethical AI and automation skills, and programming skills” in the workplace, Salesforce said.

However, there is a “disconnect” between the skills companies will need in the future and the skills currently used by the workforce.

That gap will continue As businesses race to develop AI technologies, Salesforce adds.

4 out of 5 global workers report using digital skills in their day-to-day work, but few report having skills beyond “collaboration technology, digital management and digital project management”.

Only 14% say their role includes other relevant digital skills such as encryption and cybersecurity, and 13% say they use coding and app development skills.

The penetration of AI capabilities also varies across industries. It’s no surprise that it’s the technology industry that uses the most AI talent globally, Salesforce added.

“But even for this industry, less than a third of employees use AI capabilities in their work today,” Salesforce added.

In Asia, however, things are a little different. For example, the travel and tourism industry ranks highest in India for implementing AI capabilities, rather than technology — with 67 percent using AI capabilities in their roles today, Salesforce told CNBC Make It.

“In the past year, the use of AI has expanded across the industry, with AI-powered systems and chatbots enabling more comprehensive and timely insights into consumers,” said Abraham.

“Businesses can drive rules into their systems to generate more personalized options and help consumers make decisions.”

For Singapore, the industry with the highest rate of implementing AI capabilities was manufacturing – although only 21% said they would use AI capabilities in their role.

“The manufacturing industry is a vital part of Singapore’s economy, representing 21 percent of the country’s GDP by 2022,” said Abraham.

“AI has been critical to driving improvements in efficiency, product quality and service processes.”

This includes using real-time or predictive models to better manage logistics and manage supply chain challenges, he added.

Given the shift toward skills-based hiring, leveraging additional skills will be “crucial” for an AI-powered future, Salesforce said.

The survey found that 82% of leaders said skills were the “most important attribute” when evaluating candidates.

This is significantly higher than the 18% who say relevant degrees are very important.

“With today’s rapid pace of innovation, talent-based hiring ensures businesses can quickly adopt new technologies,” said Abraham.

“Companies recognize the value of a skilled workforce to remain competitive and flexible.”

And 97 percent of global workers believe businesses should prioritize workforce development strategies, the survey found.

As such, companies should actively enable their employees to acquire skills, Abraham said.

“Employees need to have the hard and soft skills to use AI solutions already embedded in everyday systems and work applications,” he said.

“This includes the metrics for working with AI, the types of uses for which AI can deliver the best results, the validation of responses from AI. [and] Spotting red flags in generated content.”

Don’t miss it. Here are the top skills you’ll need for an ‘AI-powered future’, according to new data from Microsoft.
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