Q3 Workforce Insights: Malaysians are ready for a future with AI
74% of Malaysian workers agree that artificial intelligence (AI) will increase their work efficiency according to PERSOLKELLY’s latest Asia Pacific (APAC) Q3 Workforce Insights report, indicative of a positive outlook when it comes to the use of new technologies to enhance work efficiency. This sentiment is shared by neighbouring Singapore (71%), Thailand (78%) and Indonesia (81%), highlighting the notion that a majority of the Southeast Asian workforce is ready for the workplace of the future.
Themed “Understanding perceptions of automation & artificial intelligence at the workplace”, the report further indicates that more than 72% of Malaysia respondents agree AI will make their job easier, while 73% believe that it will enable them to perform their duties better and make them more productive. Malaysia stands in stark contrast to countries such as Australia and New Zealand, where only 49% agree that AI will make their jobs easier. Malaysians are also more positive in their perception towards AI as compared to the Asia Pacific (APAC) average.
Commenting on the reason why Malaysians are supportive of AI is Brian Sim, Managing Director and Country Head, Malaysia at Kelly Services, who said “The Malaysian government has for the past year, spearheaded several initiatives, locally and regionally, to help promote new technologies and digital skills development in Malaysia. Government sanctioned events such as Malaysia Tech Week and the #mydigitalmaker Fair have helped educate the public on the potential uses of AI at home and at work. This, along with the increasing number of businesses embracing digital transformation, have all contributed towards building a positive perception towards the implementation of AI in our nation.”
The study also points out that 68% of Malaysians believe that AI has the potential of raising a company’s bottom line, meanwhile 69% believe that AI is able to perform simple tasks better and more efficiently than humans. When it comes to business decision making however, only 41% believe that AI is better at complex decision making than humans.
The rise of AI and automation among business in Malaysia has also brought with it some concerns, the major one being job loss. As advancements in AI technology continue, more and more complex tasks are capable of being delegated to AI systems, causing many Malaysian workers to become concerned about their job security. According to the report, 1 in every 2 Malaysians believe that AI will eventually take over their job in a few years. That said, most Malaysians are still confident that the human touch is still needed, with only 46% agreeing that AI can do their job better than they can.
“Indeed, the impact AI has on job security is a complex issue, with varying answers depending on the particular sector an organisation operates in,” adds Sim. “However, digital disruption is a real phenomenon that has real consequences on a nation’s workforce. While the human touch is still at the core of many successful businesses, it is important that businesses and employees invest in upskilling themselves to ensure that they remain relevant in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
PERSOLKELLY’s APAC Workforce Insights survey featured responses from more than 7,000 hiring managers and employees from twelve markets in APAC, and across a wide range of industries.