Over half of Canadian professionals using AI with no workplace policies

Many pretending AI-generated content is their own: survey

Over half of Canadian professionals using AI with no workplace policies

AI tools are penetrating the workplace without oversight, and a lack of defined policies around its use may be putting Canadian businesses at risk, according to a Salesforce survey.

The survey collected data from 14,000 global workers, including 1,020 in Canada, and revealed that over a quarter of professionals are using generative AI at work, while over half (58%) of these professionals are using AI without the approval from their employers.

Meanwhile, over half of Canadians (54%) have passed off AI-generated content as their own, and another third (31%) would consider inflating AI skills to land a role, meaning that users are engaging in ethically questionable activities with AI due to ambiguous or non-existent workplace policies, according to the survey.

“To realize AI’s full potential, it’s critical that we invest in the employees using the technology as much as the technology itself,” said Paula Goldman, chief ethical and humane use officer at Salesforce. “With clear guidelines, employees will be able to understand and address AI’s risks while also harnessing its innovations to supercharge their careers.” 

Ethical use of AI

When it comes to what the ethical use of AI means to workers, the top three reasons are:

  1. Fact checking outputs
  2. Only using tools validated for accuracy
  3. Checking with ethics / legal.

While the bottom three reasons are:

  1. Only using tools that are used by millions of people
  2. Only using tools that explain reasoning
  3. Only using regularly tested tools.  

Ambiguous policies for AI

The non-ethical use of AI isn’t entirely the fault of employees, as just under a quarter of Canadian professionals (24%) have never completed or received training on how to safely and ethically use AI at work. Of those surveyed, only 13% reported having loosely defined policies for using generative AI for work, 41% reported having no policies on using generative AI at work, and 33% didn’t know.

Certain industries lag more than others, with 83% of Canadian employees in the professional or business services industry claiming their company lacks clear policies.

Despite the blurred lines between ethical AI use and company policies, half of global workers surveyed — regardless of whether they use generative AI or not — believe mastering generative AI will result in increased job satisfaction, being sought after in the workplace, and being paid more than those who do not master the technology.

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