Despite definitive and coordinated actions by governments worldwide, including the U.S. and the EU, to mitigate Generative AI related risks and endorse responsible usage, recent data indicates that businesses have not similarly adopted clear policies governing its application.
A survey of over 14,000 workers across 14 countries has unveiled that numerous users of generative AI in the workplace are utilizing the technology without proper training, guidance, or approval from their employers. Recognizing the significance of gen AI in advancing their careers, workers are calling for prompt action from businesses to provide clear, trusted guidelines, ensuring the technology's readiness for enterprise use and promoting responsible usage.
Generative AI tools are penetrating the workplace without oversight
Currently, 28% of workers utilize generative AI at work, and more than half do so without formal approval from their employers. An additional 32% anticipate using it soon, indicating a continued rise in the technology's adoption, whether oversight is in place or not.
Not only do workplace users tap into unapproved generative AI tools at work, but they do so while still recognizing that the ethical and safe use of genAI means adopting company-approved programs.
Users are participating in ethically questionable activities at work while using generative AI, such as presenting AI-generated work as their own or exaggerating their proficiency in using the technology.
- 64% have passed off generative AI work as their own
- 41% of workers would consider overstating their GenAI skills to secure a work opportunity
The responsibility doesn't solely rest on the workers—almost 7 in 10 global workers have never undergone training on how to use generative AI safely and ethically in the workplace.
Respondents not only highlight a training gap but also observe that GenAI policies in workplaces globally are either unclearly defined or non-existent.
Certain industries trail behind others; for instance, 87% of global workers in the healthcare sector assert their companies lack clear policies. Given the sensitive nature of data in this and similar industries, there is a pressing need to enhance workers' skills for responsible use.
Approximately 39% of global workers express that their employers do not have a firm stance on the use of generative AI in the workplace.
Regardless of whether they actively use generative AI at work, employees acknowledge its impact on their careers. Almost half (47%) believe that mastering GenAI would increase their desirability in the workplace, more than half (51%) think it would enhance job satisfaction, and 44% believe it would lead to higher compensation compared to those who do not master the technology.
Users also say they are more productive and engaged since using the technology.
Half of the surveyed global workforce, irrespective of their current use of GenAI, believes that mastering the technology will lead to:
- Increased job satisfaction (51%)
- Being sought after in the workplace (47%)
- Being paid more than those who do not master the technology (44%)
“To realize AI’s full potential, we must invest in the employees using the technology as much as the technology itself,” said Paula Goldman, Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer at Salesforce. “With clear guidelines, employees will be able to understand and address AI’s risks while also harnessing its innovations to supercharge their careers.”