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Artificial Intelligence

As UK Workers Embrace Generative AI, 62% Say They Lack Trusted Data and Security Skills

Salesforce today released data revealing that over a third (38%) of UK workers are already using or planning to use generative AI in their jobs. Most of these workers (62%), however, say they lack skills to use these technologies accurately and safely.

While these workers rank better service for customers and the potential to save up to 3.5 hours per week* on tasks among the benefits of using generative AI, they are wary of trust and security risks.

Many cite bias (58%) and inaccuracies (46%) in generative AI outputs as concerns, and lack of human contextual knowledge (70%) and human creativity (66%) as demonstrating the need for human input and control.

“Generative AI is the most important technological breakthrough of our lifetime, revolutionising how businesses interact with customers. But its potential will only be realised if we put trust and safety at the centre of this technology. This starts with managing data. Pulling from data sources that are relevant, representative, and complete,” said Zahra Bahrolouloumi, CEO, Salesforce UKI.

To that end, Salesforce recently introduced AI Cloud to help organisations incorporate trusted generative AI into every part of their business. Addressing data privacy and security concerns, its Einstein Trust Layer safeguards sensitive data within generative AI apps and workflows, preventing it from leaving customers’ trust boundaries.

At Salesforce, we’re setting a new industry standard for trusted enterprise AI, combining the power of AI, data and CRM to help companies supercharge customer experiences and company productivity while providing data privacy and data security

Zahra Bahrolouloumi, CEO, Salesforce UK

The need for trusted data and security skills

Previous Salesforce research showed just 1 in 10 UK workers feel they have AI skills, and today’s findings highlight how these generative AI skills shortages are felt across organisations. Over two-thirds of UK workers (67%) are concerned that their broader teams do not have the skills to effectively and safely use generative AI. Sixty-nine percent feel their employers do not know how to get the most value out of these technologies for their business.

Democratising AI skills is an essential step toward effective enterprise use of generative AI, yet the confidence to deploy these technologies responsibly varies significantly between leadership and individual contributors. Whereas 77% of UK C-suite and 67% managing director-level respondents say they are confident, only around a third of senior managers (35%) and junior managers (29%) respectively share this sentiment.

Employees are looking to their employers to support them in the transition to this new technology. Most (79%) say that their employers do not provide any form of generative AI training, and over half (55%) would like their employers to provide them with these opportunities.

Salesforce is urging UK business and government to work together to establish a national online digital skills platform to show people where to access the training they need. 

The company is providing skills-based training modules on Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform. Its new trail, Get Started with Artificial Intelligence, takes users through the basics of how AI works and how they can use it to increase their performance.

“AI has the power to transform how work gets done, but it is only as good as the data it is trained on. Without high-quality, trusted data, it becomes ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ To stay competitive and drive long-term transformation for their customers and business, organisations need highly skilled people to use trusted data sources and ensure sensitive data is kept secure. The need to proritise upskilling at every level has never been more clear nor urgent,” added Bahrolouloumi. 

More information

Research methodology

Salesforce conducted a generative AI survey in partnership with YouGov May 18 – 25, 2023. The data above reflects responses from 1,384 full-time UK employees across sales, service, marketing, and commerce. The respondents represent companies of a variety of sizes and sectors. The survey took place online. The figures are representative of working adult populations (ages 18+).


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