Many employees pass off AI-generated work as their own, study finds



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Summary

A Salesforce study concludes that many employees are using generative AI in “ethically questionable” ways.

This includes claiming AI-generated work as their own and a willingness to exaggerate their skills in working with generative AI.

The study, conducted in partnership with YouGov, surveyed more than 14,000 employees in 14 countries. It highlights the need for clear guidelines on the responsible use of AI in the workplace.

Passing off AI work and inflating skills

According to the Salesforce survey, 64 percent of employees who use AI have passed off AI-generated work as their own. 41 percent would inflate their generative AI skills to gain an edge in the workplace.

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47 percent of employees believe that mastering generative AI would make them more desirable in the workplace. 51 percent expect greater job satisfaction, and 44 percent say mastering generative AI could lead to better compensation.

The study also found that 28 percent of employees are currently using generative AI in their workplace, with more than half doing so without formal approval from their employer. 55 percent have used AI tools without permission, and 40 percent have even used prohibited tools.

Another 32% of employees expect to use generative AI at work soon. This indicates that the technology has long since arrived in the workplace, with or without supervision.

Lack of training and clear guidelines

The survey found that nearly 7 in 10 employees worldwide have never received training on the safe and ethical use of generative AI in the workplace. In addition, employees around the world report that their employers’ policies on generative AI are either not clearly defined or non-existent.

Certain industries, such as healthcare, are lagging in implementing clear policies: 87% of healthcare workers globally say there are no clear policies for the use of AI in their organization. This seems particularly relevant given the sensitive nature of data in this sector. 39 percent of employees worldwide say their employer does not have a clear position on the generative use of AI in the workplace.

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