Published on November 22, 2023, 3:15 pm

Many workers are embracing the use of generative AI in the workplace, even without formal training or approval from their employers, according to a recent study conducted by Salesforce. The research, part of the Generative AI Snapshot Research Series, surveyed over 14,000 employees across 14 countries.

The survey revealed that 28% of global workers are currently using generative AI at work, with more than half doing so without official authorization. Furthermore, an additional 32% of respondents expressed their intention to start using this technology soon. This data indicates that the adoption of generative AI will continue to grow, regardless of oversight or regulation.

The study also identified three prominent use cases for generative AI in terms of safety and ethics in the workplace. These include accurately generating prompt outputs, with 64% of workers admitting to passing off generative AI-generated work as their own. Additionally, 41% stated they would potentially overstate their skills in order to secure job opportunities.

One concerning finding from the survey is that 70% of global workers have never received any training on how to safely and ethically use generative AI at work. This highlights a significant gap in education and awareness regarding best practices for utilizing this technology.

The study found that industry policies regarding the use of generative AI vary widely. Only 15% of industries have clearly defined policies for its use at work globally (17% in the United States). Additionally, nearly one-fourth of industries have no specific policies on generative AI usage (one-third in the US). Specifically, within the healthcare industry, a staggering 87% claimed their companies do not possess clear policies on using generative AI.

Despite these challenges and inconsistencies, there are clear benefits associated with implementing generative AI in the workplace. The survey found that 71% of respondents believed that this technology increased productivity. Furthermore, close to six out of ten employees reported feeling more engaged at work when leveraging generative AI. In terms of career benefits, 47% believed that mastering generative AI would make them more sought after in the job market, while 51% anticipated increased job satisfaction. Additionally, 44% expected higher salaries compared to those who do not possess these skills.

As generative AI continues to shape the way we work, it is imperative for employers and organizations to address the lack of training and defined policies surrounding its usage. By ensuring employees are equipped with the knowledge and guidance necessary to utilize this technology safely and ethically, businesses can fully harness its potential while mitigating potential risks.

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