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The AI moment is now: how businesses can ready their workforce

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to introducing AI technology enterprise wide, EY teams have learned a lot from advancing AI capabilities across the 150 countries in which the organization operates.

In brief

  • Fostering a culture of curiosity around AI can help organizations scale the technology.
  • Democratizing access to learning, and tracking data and results, can unlock AI opportunities that are inclusive and equitable. 

I’m an optimist by nature, so I get excited about the possibilities when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace – including new career opportunities and enhanced productivity.

According to the EY 2023 Work Reimagined Survey, 84% of employers and almost half (49%) of global employees say they’re either using generative AI (GenAI) at work or plan to in the next 12 months. Across industries, organizations are no longer asking if and when AI will affect how business is done, but whether they’re prepared to use the technology to empower people for the future of work.

Skills like AI and machine learning now top the list of what today’s recruiters are seeking. One study found AI was the fastest-growing skills category in the first half of 2023, with GenAI job posts up more than 1,000% in the second quarter of this year (compared to the end of 2022). According to IBM, executives estimate that 40% of their workforce will need to reskill as a result of implementing AI and automation over the next three years.

Across organizations, roles are adapting to integrate AI tools to allow people to focus on higher-value tasks. This implementation will only work if the workforce is in the right mindset and can build the right skills. The Work Reimagined data tells us only 17% of employees and 22% of employers are prioritizing training in GenAI-related skills in 2023 – indicating there are major opportunities for organizations to do more to bring people up to speed.

There will be a distinct advantage for organizations that position themselves to realize the benefits of reimagining digital work – enhancing employee skills and experience in the process. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to introducing AI technology enterprise wide, EY teams have learned a lot from advancing AI capabilities across the 150 countries in which the organization operates. Here’s how the EY organization is turning its focus to develop an AI skillset at scale:

1. Fostering a culture of curiosity around AI

Attitude is key for uptake, so it’s important to highlight the many career possibilities AI can bring. Today, there are more than 70,000 EY technology professionals ranging from data scientists to AI engineers, product managers and developers. EY also announced the launch of, a unifying platform being used to deliver differentiated AI-supported services and solutions to clients and provide new capabilities to EY teams.  EY has also announced the launch of an AI assistant, EYQ, similar to ChatGPT. The secure chat capability can be used to ask questions, gather ideas for client proposals, brainstorm and boost overall productivity, enhancing the overall experience. This is important because EY people can now augment their potential with a whole new slate of tools, contributing to a new kind of employee experience and helping them thrive.

2. Democratizing access to learning

To fully benefit from AI, the workforce needs to know how to use it, requiring a bespoke approach to learning. EY just expanded the organization’s AI learning through an innovative micro-credentialling program called EY Badges. This new learning builds on the EY Tech MBA launched in 2020. Already more than 20,000 EY people globally have initiated one of our AI Badges and more than 10,000 have completed one. This comprehensive learning will fundamentally elevate and expand AI literacy and confidence of EY people – and through EY Skills Foundry, clients are given the opportunity to do the same.

3. Tracking data and results

The AI technology that’s been implemented across the organization is being closely monitored to see how it supports the business in areas like employee communication, recruitment, learning, career planning and more. For example, the EY Intelligent Payroll Chatbot answers complex employee payroll questions and personalizes the employee experience. This collaboration with Microsoft is anticipated to address 50% of all payroll inquiries for EY, which represents upwards of 200,000 people. In relation to the hiring process, an internal candidate tool is being used, allowing employees to upload their CV so they can automatically match across to open roles. This tool is resulting in a deeper talent pool, with more applications to jobs that people previously hadn’t thought of – or even heard of.

4. Unlocking AI opportunities that are inclusive and equitable

At any given time, the EY organization has approximately one million active applicants. Technology is what’s bringing diverse candidates to EY regardless of where they’re located or what their background is. As an emerging technology, AI isn’t perfect and large language models can be biased toward specific words. So, from an ethical standpoint, EY teams will not pursue technology in areas where bias may be associated with the outcome. In other words, the project won’t be undertaken until risks relating to how bias is controlled can be understood and addressed.

As the need to upskill reaches a critical point and organizations continue to integrate AI into their operations, an immediate focus should be building a culture attuned to AI risks and opportunities and creating a roadmap of the skills and conditions required to help their people thrive. The key is to advance AI in the workplace, while continuing to drive meaningful career experiences. But the two priorities shouldn’t be seen as mutually exclusive. Instead, focus should be where the two intersect, and how we can use AI to deliver consistent and exceptional experiences.


The possibilities of AI in the workplace include new career opportunities and enhanced productivity; now is the time for enterprise organizations to develop an AI skillset at scale.

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