Singapore employees welcome automation and AI, but concern about future job prospects

Employees are seen by their workstations at a printed circuit board assembly factory in Singapore
Employees are seen by their workstations at a printed circuit board assembly factory in Singapore Reuters

Singaporean employees are optimistic about automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) but remain concerned about the potential impact of these advancements in the future, revealed a new report by PERSOLKELLY's 2019 Q3 APAC Workforce Insights.

It also mentioned that as digitalisation continues to evolve in the workplace and work styles, employees need to adapt to new technologies to reinvent themselves. The rise of automation and AI brings with it the promise of improved work productivity, reduced costs and new job roles for employees.

In light of this, organisations must understand their employees' perceptions of automated processes and AI programmes.

The employees, based in the Republic generally perceive automation and AI positively and welcome these innovations in the workplace.

As per the newly published report, over 71 percent of respondents believe that automation and AI will increase their work efficiency and an equal number of trust that these technological advancements will make their jobs easier.

Additionally, it was also revealed that almost 57 percent of the survey respondents are certain that AI and automation are needed in their company and a similar 58 percent are of the opinion that it will also help to increase their company's bottom line.

Foo See Yang, Managing Director and Country Head, Singapore at Kelly Services said that the country is looking forward to making itself an AI pioneer and a globally recognized smart nation.

"Backed by government support and the need for businesses to remain competitive, automation and AI has permeated most industries. Employees generally perceive this change as positive but still have concerns about their future," Foo See Yang added.

The respondents of this survey have also expressed concerns about how automated processes and AI programmes could affect their jobs in the near future, as 35 percent people said that automation and AI will be superior to humans when it comes to making complex decisions – displaying less confidence in human competence over machines. While a similar proportion of survey respondents, almost 38 percent respondents also believe that automation and AI will eventually take over their jobs.

As per Foo See Yang companies should acknowledge these perceptions and identify ways to implement automated processes or AI programmes effectively at the workplace.

He said that "improving employee confidence in the digitised future should also be a key focus, as this will help enable a more productive work environment."

Related topics : Artificial intelligence