Of the majority of finance and insurance firms surveyed by Statistics Canada in May 2024 for the agency’s Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, 91.2 per cent of those already using artificial intelligence (AI) in their operations report no change to their employment after implementing use of the technology.

The survey’s results are discussed in the agency’s recent report, Analysis on artificial intelligence use by businesses in Canada, second quarter of 2024. They say 28.3 per cent of the 10,173 organizations surveyed credit technology adoption and innovation with improvements in operational efficiency over the last year. “Among technological advancements adopted by businesses, the integration of AI in business processes is becoming more common,” the report states.

Finance and insurance 

Companies in the information and cultural industries were most likely to report using AI in the past 12 months (20.9 per cent). Overall, just 6.1 per cent of businesses report having made use of AI in producing goods or providing services in the past year. In finance and insurance, 10.9 per cent of companies report use of the technology. In the coming 12 months, 12.9 per cent of finance and insurance companies interviewed say they have plans to adopt AI software. 

Among all businesses using AI, the most common application was natural language processing, reported by 28.9 per cent of those using the technology, followed by text analytics, virtual agents or chatbots and data analytics, all reported by more than 25 per cent of businesses using AI. The report goes on to look at use by industry and examines the extent to which AI is impacting jobs. Among the industries leading in AI use, they say the majority of businesses reported no change to their employment after implementing AI.

Training employees 

To meet the need for AI-trained employees, 38.5 per cent of businesses using AI say they trained current employees. After implementing AI, 20.9 per cent said they changed data collection or data management practices. Hiring outside staff already trained in the use of AI technologies was the least common change reported by businesses, with only 8.2 per cent taking this route.

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