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SINGAPORE: A recent survey conducted by a local data protection and governance company has revealed that nearly one-third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into their workflow. However, a concerning 20 per cent of these businesses have failed to establish internal policies to govern the use of AI in their workplaces, leading to potential privacy and security issues.

SMEs are increasingly turning to AI services for various tasks, including crafting proposals, creating websites, and generating customizable artwork. The adoption of AI not only aims at saving labor costs but has also resulted in a remarkable boost in enterprise productivity, with an approximate increase of 50 per cent.

Notably, generative AI has found significant application in educational settings, as evidenced by the Edtech Asia Summit, where one software company reported receiving three times more inquiries about AI-powered teaching assistants compared to the previous year.

Despite the evident advantages of AI integration, concerns surrounding issues like privacy breaches persist. The lack of appropriate internal policies governing AI usage within businesses raises potential risks, including copyright conflicts and data breaches.

A New Zealand software company’s data highlights that over the past year, around 20 per cent of small businesses have encountered heightened security and privacy issues following the implementation of generative AI.

In response to these challenges, some local businesses have taken proactive measures by implementing their own security protocols to safeguard against potential data leaks while utilizing AI services. The survey underscores the pressing need for SMEs to establish comprehensive internal policies that address the ethical and privacy considerations associated with AI adoption, ensuring the responsible and secure integration of these technologies into their operations.