A new report from Salesforce suggests that the increasing use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in Canadian workplaces is mostly unsupervised.
64 percent of global respondents admitted to passing off AI-generated work as their own.
The report is based on a double-blind online survey of over 14,000 full-time employees across 14 countries, including 1,020 in Canada. It found that over a quarter of these Canadian employees are using generative AI at work and, of those, over half are using it without the formal approval of their employers.
The wide release of generative AI tools based on large language models, such as ChatGPT, has started an arms race of investment in the sector, which Goldman Sachs forecasts to approach $200 billion USD by 2025. There has also been a race to launch new products and tools, with Google recently unveiling its own AI model in Gemini, making an increase of workplace use seem inevitable, whether sanctioned or not.
Alongside 56 percent of the surveyed Canadians using unapproved generative AI tools at work, 28 percent said they have even used tools that were explicitly banned by their workplaces. As workers navigate generative AI in the workplace, 64 percent of global respondents admitted to passing off AI-generated work as their own.
The unchecked use of AI in the workplace comes with a lack of workplace training or policies, with the report asserting that nearly seven in 10 global workers have never completed or received training on how to use generative AI safely and ethically at work.
As a result, just 13 percent of Canadian workers said they have clearly defined policies for using generative AI at work, with 41 percent reporting that they had no policies on using AI at work and 33 percent saying they did not even know if their workplace had policies.
Despite the general lack of clarity around AI use in the workplace, 63 percent of the surveyed Canadian workers said generative AI makes them more productive at work, while 45 percent claimed it makes them more engaged.
With the Canadian government seeking guidance on generative AI regulation, the report calls for businesses to implement clear guidelines to ensure generative AI technology is enterprise-ready and used responsibly.
“To realize AI’s full potential, it’s critical that we invest in the employees using the technology as much as the technology itself,” Paula Goldman, Salesforce’s chief ethical and humane use officer, said in a statement. “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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