Stock - AI
UAE's legions of employees feel using AI will not just help with jobs but can be good support for their career progression. As for seeing AI as a threat, they have no such worries. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: When it comes to using AI, UAE workers don’t seem to be running scared of what this technology would do to their jobs. In fact, a good majority of them would welcome the chance of using AI in their professional lives, according to a new poll by LinkedIn.

So much so, 81 per cent of UAE professionals polled by the digital platform believe it is likely that AI could be an ‘invisible teammate’ that can assist them with their work in the next 5 years.

And 72 per cent reckon AI to significantly impact their work within the same period.

Read more

The fact remains that many of them may already be using a bit of AI in their current work roles. The LinkedIn survey found a little over half of the UAE’s workforce are already using AI in their jobs, with 41 per cent trying out one of the latest version of AI in the form of ChatGPT.

Clearly, employees – whether they are in a tech job role or not – view AI as an inevitable part of their present and future. That more cutting-edge tech innovation and automation could cost jobs doesn’t figure in the calculations. At least, for now.

Because 98 per cent are saying they are ‘excited’ to use AI in their work, and a similar percentage believe it will help their career progression in some way.

Full-scale deployment

It helps that the authorities and some of the UAE’s leading organisations have already committed sizable funding into AI-supported processes. Whether that’s in interactions with the government, accessing banking or tech services, etc.

“Just as we’ve moved past the pandemic, once again professionals are adapting to another wave of change as Generative AI becomes more prominent in the workplace,” said Ali Matar, EMEA Growth Markets Leader and Head of LinkedIn MENA.

Ali Matar, EMEA Growth Markets Leader and Head of LinkedIn MENA
“In a country as technologically progressive as the UAE, it is encouraging to see that also its people are embracing the shift," said Matar.

“Even more so, our data clearly shows that workers in the UAE are focusing on the many benefits AI can bring to their working lives, including more time to focus on the work they care about and helping with career progression.”

While Generative AI (and ChatGPT) pushed its way into the public spotlight recently, the UAE has been scaling up its AI abilities, and in 2017 launched a ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031’. At the heart of it is place the ‘nation at the forefront of AI innovation’ across sectors.

Gung-ho about adopting AI

As of now, 30 per cent of UAE residents say they have not been provided with any formal AI training by their employer, while nearly 60 per cent want to learn more - even if they don’t know where to start.

And a sizeable majority are already thinking that AI can help with their work-life balance. A third of those polled by LinkedIn want to use AI to ‘say goodbye to boring work tasks’ and assist in answering questions they are ‘too embarrassed’ to ask colleagues.(AI could be good on career advice too, when needed. At least, 63 per cent of those polled believe this to be the case.)

“It’s also clear that people are eager to learn more about AI, and we’re seeing a significant increase in conversations on LinkedIn with members already adding AI skills to their profiles,” said Matar. “But our data also highlights the enormous value of soft skills as humans learn to partner with AI– and this is what is now shaping the future of work.”