Most Thai jobs safe from AI
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Most Thai jobs safe from AI

Less than 4% of positions threatened

A recent survey by Microsoft and LinkedIn found 74% of Thai executives would not hire candidates without AI skills.
A recent survey by Microsoft and LinkedIn found 74% of Thai executives would not hire candidates without AI skills.

Artificial intelligence (AI) could have a muted impact on Thai employment, with less than 4% of employees in the service sector at high risk of being replaced by the technology, according to Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research).

However, a joint study by Microsoft and LinkedIn revealed 74% of Thai business leaders, compared with 66% globally, said they would not hire candidates without AI skills.

AI is one of the world's fastest growing sectors, with investment exceeding US$91.9 billion in 2022 and expected to rise to $200 billion annually by 2030, according to Goldman Sachs.

The adoption of AI was predicted by analysts to result in the layoff of up to 300 million workers worldwide.

According to K-Research, Thailand's service sector, which accounts for 52.4% of the country's GDP, would be most affected by AI.

However, the impact of AI on Thailand may be less pronounced than in many countries as fewer than 4% of the country's total workforce in the service sector are considered highly vulnerable to AI replacement, said the research house.

Service sector exposure to AI replacement risk based on the number of employees and service sector GDP is only 280,000 employees, representing 3.5% of total employees in the sector, according to K-Research.

Yet risk from AI could affect 34.7% of the sector's GDP, said the research unit.

Jobs in construction (90,000 workers threatened) or residential construction (180,000 workers) face lower risks from AI, while industries such as finance (29,000 workers) and professional services (95,000 workers) are more vulnerable, noted K-Research.

The research house suggests Thailand capitalise on advanced AI technology.

Dhanawat Suthumpun, managing director of Microsoft Thailand, said generative AI tools have found widespread acceptance in the workplace.

He said most employees surveyed use AI to complete their daily workload, without waiting to see if their organisations will provide AI tools, services, or directions and guidelines for usage.

Business leaders must respond to this emerging trend to help both organisations and employees grasp the greatest benefit from AI, said Mr Dhanawat.

Microsoft and LinkedIn recently released the 2024 Work Trend Index, a joint report on the state of AI at work. The report is based on a survey of 31,000 people across 31 countries, including Thailand.

The study shows 92% of knowledge workers in Thailand now use AI at work, which is significantly higher than the global average of 75%.

Among these users, 81% employ the AI tools of their choice, resulting in the emerging "Bring Your Own AI" trend, which may lead to companies missing out on the benefits that come with strategic AI use at scale, while putting company data at risk, according to the survey.

In addition, 91% of Thai business leaders believe their company needs to adopt AI to stay competitive, well above the global average of 79%.

Candidates with AI skills

AI skills are now regarded as critically important assets in the workforce, both in Thailand and around the world.

If offered a choice between AI skills and work experience, 90% of Thai leaders (71% worldwide) would choose the employee with AI skills over the more experienced one.

Employers in Thailand value workers with AI skills and are willing to pay at least 41% more to hire them, according to the report "Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Asia-Pacific Workforce for Jobs of the Future".

The report was commissioned by Amazon Web Services and prepared by Access Partnership.

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