Embracing AI: A Leap Towards Enhanced Productivity and Skill Development at Digital Green

At Digital Green, we believe in the power of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) for agricultural extension to transform the lives of the farmers we work with. Now, we are harnessing that same transformative power of AI to reshape our work dynamics and enhance productivity. By integrating AI into daily tasks, key deliverables, and organizational systems, we aim to boost individual and organizational performance, helping us be more competitive and innovative. Additionally, incorporating AI into staff learning programs can improve job satisfaction and retention, though we recognize that it is essential to collectively manage risks such as legal liabilities and data protection to safeguard the organization.

Our recent all-staff survey provides an insightful glimpse into how our team is integrating AI into their daily tasks and the broad enthusiasm for further AI-related upskilling. To better outline and understand the role and impacts of GenAI in our workplace, we’ve established an AI Upskilling Working Group, a diverse staff-led task force that seeks to: 1) assess and track AI adoption and opportunities internally; 2) provide accessible AI education sessions and resources to all staff; and 3) promote the responsible use of AI tools in our workplace.

How We Gathered Insights

Digital Green conducted a comprehensive survey targeting all staff members across various departments to understand the integration and impact of AI within our operations. The survey was designed to gather both quantitative and qualitative data, offering insights into how often AI tools are utilized, the types of tasks they are employed for, and staff perceptions regarding the benefits and challenges associated with these tools. It consisted of multiple-choice questions to quantify usage and satisfaction levels, as well as open-ended questions to capture detailed comments and suggestions. 

The survey was distributed through our internal communication platforms, ensuring easy access and a high participation rate of 70%, which further enhanced the reliability of our findings. This methodological approach allowed us to not only measure the current state of AI adoption but also to identify specific areas where additional support and training are needed. 

High AI Utilization and Optimistic Outlook

Results showed that 77% of our respondents already incorporate AI tools into their roles, reflecting a high rate of AI utilization across the organization.  Adoption is matched by a strong belief in the positive impact of AI on work productivity, with 63% of respondents acknowledging enhanced work performance due to AI tools. 

AI tools have become integral in various tasks such as document drafting, brainstorming, and research, with significant usage noted in technical tasks like data analysis and forecasting. These tools not only streamline processes but also foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning.

While the adoption rates are high, our survey also highlighted some areas of concern. Over half of the respondents expressed a lack of understanding about the risks associated with using AI tools, indicating a need for comprehensive training and guidelines. There is also a concern among 23% of the respondents about keeping pace with rapid AI integration, which could lead to disparities in skill levels and job security.

To address these concerns, Digital Green is committed to providing equitable access to AI technologies and upskilling opportunities. Our AI Upskilling Working Group is at the forefront of this initiative, promoting responsible and safe use of AI, organizing AI Bot Camps (our internal AI training initiative) and other learning series to ensure that all staff, regardless of their geographical location or initial skill level, can benefit from AI advancements.

Looking Ahead

Digital Green plans to sustain its focus on responsibly integrating AI into our operations. This will involve continuous upskilling, measurement of learning impacts, and the development of policies that ensure safe and effective AI use in all of our workstreams that prioritize data privacy and security for ourselves and everyone we work with. By fostering an environment that encourages peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing and skill development, we aim to bridge the existing skill gaps and propel our team towards higher levels of innovation and efficiency.

Although our journey is just beginning, we are on a path to transforming our workplace into a more dynamic and inclusive environment. By embracing AI, we are not just enhancing our current capabilities but are also setting the stage for future innovations that align with our mission of boosting the effectiveness of agricultural extension and helping farmers increase their productivity and incomes.