, Singapore

Generative AI can be harnessed to reshape jobs and improve productivity

Tech consultants list tips on how businesses should use AI and upskill their employees at risk of losing their jobs.

When job displacement becomes a rising concern for the adoption of generative AI in the jobs market, it also gives opportunities that can increase productivity and form new jobs.

Bharath Bala, a senior consultant for tech and transformation at Robert Walters, told the Singapore Business Review that those who adopt the technology sooner than later have a competitive advantage.

To ensure that leveraging generative AI makes their workforce more productive, businesses should follow these tips.

Key tips

The first tip, according to Bala, is to create clear goals and objectives on why they are using the technology.

“It’s a training model at the end of the day so they need to know what type of content, tone, and voice styles of charge ability that they should use, and what they need it for,” he said.

Mehdi Jaouadi, partner at YCP Solidiance, generative AI has the potential to generate solutions such as copywriting, coding, graphic design, and other types of recurring deliverables that could be automated.

The next tip is training the generative AI model to generate relevant and accurate responses, said Bala.

After training the model, it should also be tested to ensure that the business is providing relevant responses, said Bala.

Model testing for a bank, for instance, requires that it does not generate fake inquiries or false information about opening a bank account. So they should test the account opening model before it is served to the public, he said.

Another point is that testing the model will allow whether the generative AI is compliant and if its output meets regulatory requirements such as data privacy. It should also be used alongside human interaction to ensure it is correct. 

“When you test the model itself, adjusting the model is very crucial, so that's a very crucial phase, and people should not skip that phase,” said Bala.

“That’s where you set up requirements, you set up boundaries, when on what is within regulation, what is not within regulation, what is considered private information, what is not considered private information,” he added.

The next tip is to provide transparency to ensure that the customer is clear when interacting with the AI model.

“When you interact with a machine, it should always be very clear. Information should be consistent across everything. It shouldn’t give multiple answers to the same questions,” said Bala.

As highlighted by Mehdi, another important tip is to not completely replace the human element. As generative AI takes over the processing of manual tasks, workers can focus on upskilling and adding value in areas that require human expertise.

For example, accountants can utilise AI to automate most of their repetitive tasks, enabling them to dedicate more time to analysing data and gaining a deeper understanding of the numbers at hand. 

“As individuals enhance their skills, they will unlock the greater cognitive capacity to concentrate on high-value tasks that actively contribute to the company's growth,” said Mehdi

Nilay Khandelwal, managing director at Michael Page, said at the end of the day, businesses should still be careful of how they adopt the technology so as not to fall into the trap of losing their uniqueness.

“Because every business, even if you have the same product, you still have your uniqueness about an organisation or culture’s way of dealing with customers,” Khandelwal told the Singapore Business Review.

Jobs at risk 

Bala said roles in content creation, advertising, media, translators, and content marketing will be the most challenged by AI as the tech can create write-ups in seconds. This would mean the worker will edit more than create content.

For Mehdi, job roles in the tech sector, such as coders and data analysts, as being at risk. Additionally, occupations in the legal field, including paralegals and legal assistants, as well as positions in market research, Edutech, and finance, are also deemed vulnerable.

Khandelwal said generative AI will be of most use for recruitment or talent acquisition roles.

Customer services working 24/7 will also highly use generative AI to help them answer shipping queries and other general questions from customers, Bala said.

But Bala said not all AI technologies are developed to replace humans because their purpose is to assist human beings. 

“Job displacement means there will be some restructuring, particularly in industries that rely heavily on routine tasks as well. Workers in these industries who are getting displaced will probably require to reskill and upskill themselves to remain relevant and competitive in the job market,” he said.

Michael Page’s Khandelwal said it is still too early to say which skill sets will be replaced. In Singapore, for example, upskilling is in demand, especially for those with replaceable roles that can be done in other parts of the world at a lower cost.

Half of Singapore employees (51%) said they are worried that AI will replace their jobs, a 2022 Salesforce report showed. But only 15% said they have expertise in AI. 

Challenges of ChatGPT

There will also be vulnerabilities when tapping generative AI such as cybersecurity, said Bala. He revealed that there are dangers to inputting data especially with all the scams proliferating.

“If it sounds like a human, anyone can reach out to you and put phishing messages; so that can be very easily replicated by a machine like ChatGPT,” said Bala.

On cybersecurity issues, Khandelwal said it will be more complicated to manage and create a legal framework that is acceptable in a particular industry.

“It will be very different in a financial services domain than to a fast-moving consumer goods company than to a travel or tourism company,” he said.

Another challenge is GenerativeAI’s production of incorrect and discriminatory responses due to input of biased data, Bala said.

“How good the data and system is, is defined by the data that we put in. So data is slightly biased even to this stage -they are trying to correct it. It’s a continuous process but that is a challenge in adopting it as well,” he added.

Other opportunities

However, the utilisation of AI extends beyond employed individuals across various industries. According to Mehdi, generative AI can be employed by job seekers as well. Numerous AI tools already exist to automate mundane job-hunting tasks. highlighted the availability of AI tools for resume building, job matching, and creating cover letters.

He also referenced a survey conducted by resumebuilder.com, which revealed that many job seekers are leveraging AI tools and experiencing higher response rates from companies. By incorporating AI into the job search and recruitment process, both candidates and HR recruiters can save time, leading to improved alignment between candidates and job requirements, Mehdi explained.

Looking ahead, Bala said generative AI may lead to job displacement, but also serves as a learning curve for employees.

“People can no longer be like, ‘Oh, this is my job. I can do this for the next 20 years.’ It’s going to be a constant learning curve for every single person on the job,” he said.

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