Singaporean workers are picking up AI skills the fastest: LinkedIn

According to LinkedIn’s Future of Work report, workers in Singapore are the fastest in the world to adopt AI skills.

The report, which collected data from 25 countries, found that Singapore had the highest “diffusion rate” – with the share of members adding AI skills to their profiles increasing 20-fold since January 2016.

That’s significantly higher than the global average of eight times, LinkedIn told CNBC Make It.

Finland (16x), Ireland (15x), India (14x) and Canada (13x) The top five countries with the highest prevalence of AI skills, according to the report.

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Pooja Chhabria, career expert and Asia-Pacific editor-in-chief at LinkedIn, said Singapore has long been “fertile ground” for AI disruption.

This is thanks to the country’s “strong digital infrastructure, a strong framework for intellectual property protection and a thriving ecosystem of venture capital firms, angel investors, which provide capital,” he said.

“We’ve seen rapid growth over the years driven by startups and businesses in their efforts to create new niches or gain greater competitive advantage in the development and adoption of artificial intelligence.”

Skills that can be “potentially augmented” by artificial intelligence

According to LinkedIn, the five fastest-growing AI-related skills added to member profiles in 2022 were all “pointers to the emergence of generative AI.”

This includes skills like question-and-answer – which grew by 332% – classification and recommendation systems.

Chatbot ChatGPT sparked a new wave of interest in generative artificial intelligence (GAI) technologies last year, and Big Tech firms like Google and Microsoft have since tried to apply AI to their business.

LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, launched features in May that let members create AI-generated recruiting messages, job descriptions and user profiles.

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However, generative AI’s ability to generate text, images and other content in response to human input — has sparked new fears about jobs being replaced by technology.

A Goldman Sachs report suggests that 300 million jobs worldwide could be affected by artificial intelligence and automation, such as office and administrative support roles.

Analyzing some of the most popular occupations on the platform, LinkedIn, for example, found that 45% of teachers’ skills could be “potentially enhanced” by generative AI.

“The new GAI tools offer the potential to lighten workloads and help professionals like teachers focus on the most important parts of their jobs,” LinkedIn wrote.

AI will undoubtedly change the way many of us do our jobs and the time we spend on tasks that could potentially be helped by generative AI.

Pooja Chhabria

Career Expert, LinkedIn

Teaching skills that can be improved include lesson planning, curriculum development, literacy and tutoring, according to the report.

However, 53% of teachers’ skills still need to be performed by people in classroom management, elementary education, and special education.

The share of skills that can potentially be augmented by generative AI

  • Software engineer: 96%
  • Customer service representative: 76%
  • Cashier: 59%
  • Seller: 59%
  • Teacher: 45%
  • Event manager: 39%

Only 3% of software engineers’ skills need to be performed by humans.

“Of course AI will definitely change the way many of us do our jobs and the time we spend on tasks that can be helped with generative AI,” Chhabria said.

“As a result, people skills … such as creative thinking, leadership and communication, and ensuring ethical outcomes – are increasingly important.”

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One key area where software engineers can use their people skills is to “communicate more effectively with business and non-technical audiences,” he added.

According to LinkedIn, jobs with the smallest share of potentially upgradable skills include oilfield operator (1%), environmental health safety specialist (3%), nurse (6%) and physician (7%).

“Man is always in control”

Soft skills are becoming increasingly important as artificial intelligence begins to automate many areas of the workforce, LinkedIn said.

In the report, for example, the fastest growing in-demand skills in the US since November 2022 are flexibility, professional ethics, social awareness and self-management.

Similarly, Microsoft’s 2023 Job Trend Index report found that the top three skills leaders consider important are analytical judgment, flexibility and emotional intelligence.

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“The human is always in control and… you have a moment with the artificial intelligence response that is generated: ‘Do I want to save this content?’ Do I want to change it? Do I want to throw it away?'” Colette Stallbaumer, general manager of Microsoft 365 and the “future of work,” told CNBC Make It in May.

“You still have to use those judgment skills when you’re thinking about when to use AI and making those calls—that’s really where human agency comes into play.”

Microsoft added that emotional intelligence is crucial to help “determine when to use artificial intelligence instead of human capabilities.”

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