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Innovation

64% of workers have passed off generative AI work as their own

Generative AI technologies are being used in the workplace without training, guidance, or approval by businesses.
Written by Vala Afshar, Contributing Writer
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John M Lund Photography Inc/Getty Images

Many users of generative AI in the workplace are leveraging the technology without training, guidance, or approval from their employers, according to new research from Salesforce. The company surveyed more than 14,000 global workers across 14 countries for the latest iteration of its Generative AI Snapshot Research Series.

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Research shows that over a quarter (28%) of workers globally are currently using generative AI at work, and over half are doing so without the formal approval of their employers. With an additional 32% expecting to use generative AI at work soon, it's clear that penetration of the technology will continue -- with or without oversight.  

The survey identified the top 3 safe use cases of generative AI: 

  1. Only use company-approved GenAI tools/programs.
  2. Never use confidential company data in prompts for generative AI.
  3. Never use personally identifiable customer data in prompts for generative AI.

The top 3 ethical uses of GenAI at the workplace include:

  1. Fact-checking of generative AI outputs before using them.
  2. Only using generative AI tools that have been validated for accuracy.
  3. Only using company-approved generative AI tools and programs. 

The survey found other interesting safety and ethical uses of generative AI in the workplace, including sourcing prompt outputs with accuracy. The survey revealed that 64% of workers have passed off generative AI work as their own. And 41% of workers would consider overstating their generative AI skills to secure a work opportunity. 

The most alarming reveal of the survey may be that 7 in 10 global workers have never completed or received training on how to use generative AI safely and ethically at work.

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Generative AI usage policies do vary by industry. Only 15% of all industries have loosely defined policies for using generative AI for work -- 17% in the United States. Nearly 1 in 4 have no policies on using generative AI at work (1 in 3 in the US). In one example,  87% of global workers in the healthcare industry claim their company lacks clear policies. Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) global workers say their employer doesn't hold a strong opinion about generative AI use in the workplace.

The overall benefits of using GenAI in the workplace are clear. The survey found that 71% of the workforce believe that generative AI makes them more productive at work. And nearly 6 out of 10 employees say GenAI makes them more engaged at work. As far as career benefits, 47% of global workers believe mastering generative AI would make them more sought after in the workplace, over half (51%) believe it would result in increased job satisfaction, and 44% say it would mean they would be paid more than those who don't master the technology. 

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