AI to impact less than 4% of Thailand’s service sector jobs

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is projected to have a limited impact on employment in Thailand, with fewer than 4% of service sector workers at high risk of being replaced by the technology, according to Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research).

A study conducted by Microsoft and LinkedIn revealed that 74% of Thai business leaders, compared to 66% globally, stated they would not hire candidates lacking AI skills.

AI is rapidly expanding, with global investment exceeding US$91.9 billion (3.36 trillion baht) in 2022 and anticipated to reach US$200 billion annually by 2030, as reported by Goldman Sachs.

Analysts predict that AI adoption could lead to the layoff of up to 300 million workers worldwide. K-Research indicated that Thailand’s service sector, contributing 52.4% to the national GDP, would be the most impacted by AI.

Nevertheless, the overall effect of AI on Thailand is expected to be less severe than in many other countries, as fewer than 4% of the service sector workforce is highly susceptible to AI replacement.

The exposure of the service sector to AI replacement risk, considering the number of employees and its GDP contribution, amounts to only 280,000 employees, representing 3.5% of total sector employment. However, the potential risk from AI could influence 34.7% of the sector’s GDP.

Sectors at risk

K-Research noted that jobs in construction (90,000 workers at risk) and residential construction (180,000 workers) are less vulnerable to AI, whereas industries like finance (29,000 workers) and professional services (95,000 workers) face higher risks.

Managing Director of Microsoft Thailand, Dhanawat Suthumpun, highlighted the widespread acceptance of generative AI tools in the workplace.

“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.”

Dhanawat added that business leaders need to address this emerging trend to maximise AI benefits for both organisations and employees.

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

The study found that 92% of knowledge workers in Thailand now utilise AI at work, significantly higher than the global average of 75%.

Lack of uniformity

The survey reveals that 81% of respondents use AI tools of their choice. The lack of uniformity in AI usage at scale in workplaces may cause the company to miss out on the advantages of strategic uses and put the company data at risk, reported Bangkok Post.

Additionally, 91% of Thai business leaders believe their companies need to adopt AI to remain competitive, compared to the global average of 79%, revealing how AI skills have become critical assets in the workforce, both in Thailand and internationally.

If given a choice between AI skills and work experience, 90% of Thai leaders (71% globally) would opt for a candidate with AI skills over a more experienced one, demonstrating that Thai employers value workers with AI skills and are willing to pay at least 41% more to hire them, as reported in “Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Asia-Pacific Workforce for Jobs of the Future.”

Business NewsThailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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