Navigating the AI Era: UAE Leads, but Challenges Persist
A report by Oliver Wyman sheds light on the impact of generative AI on companies and communities in the GCC. The findings, released ahead of The World Government Summit in Dubai on February 12-14, 2024, emphasise the surging use of AI among UAE employees while underscoring the need for employers to intensify efforts in training and engaging their workforce.
Titled 'Artificial Intelligence and The Next Frontiers,' the report identifies AI as one of the six key themes at The World Government Summit, reflecting the growing awareness and concerns surrounding this technological frontier.
The research reveals that the UAE is at the forefront of global AI deployment, with 74 percent of employees reporting regular use of AI tools in the workplace. However, the report underscores a critical gap, as 91 percent express a desire for their employers to provide training on AI tools, while only 84 percent currently receive such training. Although above the global average of 64 percent across 16 countries covered in the report, there is still considerable room for improvement.
Jad Haddad, Head of Digital IMEA at Oliver Wyman, emphasises the importance of employers keeping pace with AI technology: "With the UAE taking a leadership position in AI, it is vital for employers to understand how it impacts their company and how to best integrate it into their processes. This research underscores the readiness of employees to utilize AI, while also alerting employers of the need to take control of the situation.”
The report highlights potential repercussions of inadequate AI training, with 94 percent of UAE employees using AI expressing concerns about exposing proprietary data while using public generative AI tools, posing a security risk to their organisations.
Furthermore, the study suggests that the increasing use of AI in the workplace is altering employee behaviour, with 25 percent of UAE workers actively seeking new employment opportunities due to AI disruptions. Notably, 41 percent of respondents express openness to AI screening their job applications, signaling potential shifts in the future of hiring practices.
Surprisingly, more than half of UAE employees (52 percent) indicate a preference for working with an AI colleague over a human counterpart, suggesting a positive response to a potential increase in AI integration in the workplace.
The findings from the Oliver Wyman report serve as a call to action for employers to align with the evolving landscape of AI technology, ensuring a secure and productive integration for the benefit of organisations, employees, customers, and society at large. The report's release precedes discussions on AI's impact at The World Government Summit, where global leaders will converge to address emerging challenges and opportunities in the rapidly advancing field of artificial intelligence.