Balancing Productivity and Ethics in Singaporean Workplaces

Explore the Impact of Generative AI on Singaporean Workers: From Productivity Gains to Ethical Dilemmas

Salesforce, the leading AI CRM provider, has unveiled findings from its research on Generative AI usage among Singaporean workers. The study sheds light on how Singaporean employees utilize and perceive generative artificial intelligence (AI) in their workplaces. The research delves into aspects such as productivity, ethical considerations, safety concerns, career advancement prospects, and the impact on employee attraction and retention.

According to the survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Salesforce, Singaporean workers acknowledge the advantages of incorporating generative AI, especially in terms of enhancing productivity and facilitating career progression. Nevertheless, a significant portion of these workers employ generative AI without a thorough grasp of ethical principles and safety protocols, resulting in questionable practices, such as presenting AI-generated work as their own or utilizing banned generative AI platforms.

Key findings from the research include:

  1. 93% of Singaporean workers who currently use or experiment with generative AI believe it enhances their workplace productivity. Nearly half (49%) believe that generative AI can contribute to their career advancement within their current organizations.
  2. Approximately 40% of Singaporean workers have already begun using or experimenting with generative AI in their professional roles.
  3. Singaporean workers perceive generative AI as a valuable tool for career advancement, with 55% believing that mastering generative AI skills will make them more sought after within their workplaces, and 51% anticipating higher compensation for such expertise.
  4. Limited comprehension of AI ethics and safety has not deterred Singaporean workers from embracing generative AI. To address this, businesses should adopt generative AI cautiously, employing secure technologies, establishing policies and guidelines, and providing adequate training to their staff.

Regarding AI ethics and safety:

  • Over 90% of Singaporean workers struggled to identify all the actions associated with using AI ethically and safely.

The top three safety practices recognized by Singaporean workers for using generative AI safely are:

  • Using only company-approved generative AI tools or programs (51%)
  • Avoiding the use of confidential company data in generative AI prompts (47%)
  • Refraining from using personally identifiable customer data in generative AI prompts (45%)

The top three ethical practices identified by Singaporean workers for using generative AI ethically are:

  • Employing only generative AI tools validated for accuracy (37%)
  • Utilizing company-verified generative AI tools or programs (36%)
  • Verifying generative AI outputs for accuracy before use (35%)

However, despite limited understanding, many Singaporean workers continue to use generative AI at work, occasionally resorting to questionable practices such as presenting AI-generated work as their own (76%) and using banned generative AI platforms (48%).

To fully harness the potential of generative AI, companies must provide comprehensive policies and training. This approach not only enhances talent attraction and retention but also contributes to increased productivity, ultimately fostering business growth.

Barriers to greater generative AI adoption among Singaporean workers include:

  • Lack of effective training in using generative AI (38%)
  • Insufficient training on ethical (63%) and safe (63%) generative AI usage provided by employers
  • Lack of clearly defined company policies on generative AI usage (78%)
  • Absence of clearly defined generative AI tools/programs for employee use (72%)

Singaporean workers express a desire for more training to keep pace with generative AI advancements, with 63% concerned about falling behind and 32% willing to change employers if they do not receive adequate generative AI training.

Moreover, generative AI training can significantly impact talent attraction and retention, as evidenced by:

  • 67% agreeing that companies embracing generative AI are more appealing places to work
  • 31% indicating their willingness to leave their current organizations if generative AI implementation is not prioritized in workflows.

The research on generative AI’s influence on Singaporean workers offers a multifaceted view of its role in today’s evolving workplaces. While it’s evident that generative AI holds great potential for boosting productivity and advancing careers, there are critical ethical and safety considerations that cannot be overlooked. Singaporean employees are embracing this technology, but without proper guidance and training, they may unwittingly tread on questionable ground. As we move forward, it is incumbent upon businesses to navigate the generative AI landscape judiciously, implementing trusted technology, robust policies, and comprehensive training to ensure that this transformative tool becomes a catalyst for growth, talent attraction, and sustainable success in the ever-evolving world of work.