Article: Microsoft research suggests how AI will revolutionise work in the Asia Pacific


Microsoft research suggests how AI will revolutionise work in the Asia Pacific

With its use picking up in workplaces, AI adoption in Asia Pacific extends beyond administrative tasks to include analytical and creative work too, finds new research by Microsoft.
Microsoft research suggests how AI will revolutionise work in the Asia Pacific

The rapid shift towards artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace is transforming the way we work, but the question remains: will it fix the problems we face?

Microsoft's recently released 2023 Work Trend Index report, titled "Will AI Fix Work?" delves into this question.

The report is based on a survey of 31,000 people across industries in 31 countries, including 14 Asia Pacific markets. Trillions of signals from emails, meetings, and chats across Microsoft 365 were analysed, along with labour trends on LinkedIn.

The data revealed that the pace of work has accelerated faster than humans can keep up, which is having a negative impact on innovation. However, the report suggests that next-generation AI can alleviate some of the burden of work. Organisations that are quick to embrace AI will break the cycle, resulting in increased creativity and productivity for everyone.

“AI represents a whole new way of working, as it moves from autopilot to copilot, freeing us from digital debt and fuelling innovation,” said Vinod Muralidharan, Microsoft Asia General Manager of Modern Work.

“As work evolves with AI, so must we. Employees across Asia Pacific are optimistic about AI, as our Work Trend Index research suggests 78 per cent of people in this region would delegate as much work as possible to AI to lessen their workloads. The most pressing opportunity and responsibility for every leader is to understand how to leverage AI to remove the drudgery of work, unleash creativity, and build AI aptitude.”

The report shares three key insights for business leaders as they look to understand and responsibly adopt AI for their organisation:  

Digital debt is costing us innovation

With the volume of data, emails, and chats increasing at an unprecedented rate, our ability to process this information is struggling to keep up. There is an opportunity to make our existing communications more productive.

As many as 72 per cent of people in Asia Pacific say that they do not have enough time and energy to complete their work, and those struggling with time management are three times more likely to struggle with innovation.

The data shows that the average person spends 57 per cent of their time in Microsoft 365 communicating, and only 43 per cent creating. The main culprit for this productivity disruption is inefficient meetings.

The new AI-employee alliance

Despite 58 per cent of respondents in Asia Pacific expressing concern that AI may replace their jobs, a whopping 78 per cent are open to delegating work to AI in order to reduce their workload.

The report also found that employees in Asia Pacific are increasingly comfortable using AI for more than just administrative tasks, with three out of four people willing to use AI for analytical work and creative aspects of their role.

Interestingly, managers are 1.9 times more likely to say that AI would be most valuable in their workplace by boosting productivity rather than cutting headcount.  

Every employee needs AI aptitude

It is no longer just AI experts who need to possess AI aptitude. Every employee in the organisation will need new core competencies such as prompt engineering in their day to day.

The report found that 85 per cent of leaders in Asia Pacific anticipate that employees will need new skills in the era of AI. And 71 per cent of workers in Asia Pacific say currently they don’t have the right capabilities to get their work done. 

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Topics: Technology, #Future of Work, #Artificial Intelligence

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