Focus on skill enhances AI implementations; Microsoft Survey

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Artificial Intelligence
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A recent global survey by US-based multinational technology company Microsoft has shown that firms that integrate their artificial intelligence (AI) implementation with skills programs focused on both technology and soft skills attain the biggest gain from the use of AI.

The survey which was conducted among 600 staff and leaders across the UAE focused on skills required to succeed as AI is increasingly being embraced by UAE companies, providing companies with insights into where to best place their investment.

Ihsan Anabtawi, COO and CMO, Microsoft UAE said, “The high-tech UAE economy advanced by initiatives such as the National AI Strategy 2031 will accelerate new economic and social opportunities for citizens, governments and businesses and generate significant growth, a high priority in the current UAE economy.”

The Microsoft official further added that “This new study analyses how AI leaders are driving more business value in the new environment as companies’ skill, upskill and reskill the workforce to make them future-ready. Those ahead of the curve will empower employees to unlock inherent business value from AI, ensuring their firms increase capacity to be more agile, adaptive and resilient.”

High development firms merge expertise with AI deployment

Among the UAE’s most experienced AI adoption firms, 93 percent of their senior officers stated that they are actively developing the skills of their employees or have intentions to do so. Moreover, 78 percent of workers at these companies said, they have already availed from reskilling programs.

According to the analysis firms prioritizing AI are focused on securing employees with it’s complimenting skills. These businesses develop employee skills in all areas ranging from innovative data analysis and critical thinking to communication and creativity.

AI supports the creation of company cultures by focusing more on innovation and learning

Almost 97 percent of UAE workers are interested in taking part in AI reskilling initiatives. 77 percent of those working within an organization that extensively use AI state that their company is actively preparing them for a digital era that is increasingly powered by AI.

Anabtawi said, “We’re seeing a virtuous cycle emerge among those companies who extract the greatest value from AI. These leaders have realized that having the right skills enables them to unlock more value from AI, are in turn encouraged to extend their use of AI, which levels up skills across their whole organization.”

Microsoft has set up a virtual training ecosystem to address the skills gap in today’s workforce, designed to support workers who are specialized in skills required for future careers. Initiatives such as the Microsoft Cloud Society are part of this framework, which has reached more than 256,000 members across the Middle East and Africa to date. Besides, programs such as the AI Business School empower individuals to be remotely upskilled in sectors such as AI, Data, Cloud and Security.