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Singapore businesses see AI-powered search engines boosting productivity at work: study

Companies are still slow to adopt AI.

The majority of Singaporean businesses consider conversational search systems an effective tool to boost productivity in the workplace, with nearly half seeing the AI-powered tool helping employees save an average of two days per week, a new study by a search analytics firm showed.

Elastic’s latest research found that 86% of decision-makers in the city-state plan to raise their investments in generative AI this year and beyond, and 81% expect these allocated budgets will keep rising in the next three years.

More than half said generative AI could help companies make better use of their resources, and at the same time, increase operational efficiency and productivity, as well as improve customer experiences.

Nearly all respondents also believe in the transformational impact of conversational AI search engines in their businesses. Powered by large language models, this technology answers users’ questions and follow-up queries by gathering and summarising data from the internet.

“Businesses that adopt search-powered GenAI quickest, anchored by security and grounded by business context, quickly and securely will become the market leaders for uncovering insights needed to build resilient modern businesses, accelerate innovation, and pioneer new bespoke user experience,” said Ravi Rajendran, area vice president of ASEAN at Elastic.

Compared to their global counterparts, Singapore firms were among the early believers in AI although adoption has been rather slow due to a myriad of challenges, including regulatory roadblocks, skills gap and lingering uncertainties over the reliability of information AI generates.

Nearly all also reported that they are struggling with AI-powered data searches, raising concerns about the difficulty in utilising the search results effectively, the inability to cover multiple sources of information and that the responses were not provided fast enough.

The survey polled 3,200 IT decision-makers and influencers of organisations across Singapore, the rest of Asia Pacific, Europe and the US. 

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