Tank’s AI & Me Report indicated that fashion is the most AI-ready industry with the “highest proportion” of AI-related roles at 4.44%, while the retail and e-commerce sector had the lowest proportion requiring AI at 0.09%.

The research claims fashion is leading the brigade, encompassing elements from design to buying which Tank adds is no surprise, given the sector is fast-paced and competitive leading companies to embrace AI.

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The report details that the use of data analytics, fuelled by AI, can also solve the fashion sector’s biggest challenges – like speeding up design and production; proactively identifying new trends and aligning supply with demand to reduce waste.

Although retail and e-commerce ranked bottom, the report highlights how retailers can incorporate AI elements to drive sales and loyalty, whether they sell online or in-store with data-driven insights further assisting retailers in improving forecasting capabilities, protecting margins and transforming customer experience.

Martin Harris, head of digital at Tank, believes like numeracy and literacy, we are likely to see data and AI literacy become a requirement in many technical and non-technical roles.

Martin Harris, head of digital at Tank, said: “There’s no doubt that AI is transforming the employment landscape – and I’d argue this is a good thing. It is removing a lot of the labour-intensive drudge work, and giving people more rewarding opportunities to drive success at their business. Emotional intelligence is, and always will be, a human trait. It cannot be replicated authentically in a machine, but it can improve the strengths of that trait by backing it up with evidence. This year, in particular, it feels like AI has come of age and because the technology is so powerful, human judgement and oversight are more important than ever.”

How does AI fare in terms of fashion job requirements?

According to job filings data shared by GlobalData, the apparel industry has posted 8,865 active jobs related to or requiring the theme Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the period from November 2019 to November 2023.

Credit: GlobalData

AI is the second-most sought theme, followed by US macro outlook with 8.599 jobs posted. Global macro outlook jobs lead the way during the period.

We are certainly seeing AI growing in prominence when it comes to the apparel industry.

A McKinsey & Co report called the overall financial impact of gen AI on the fashion industry “significant,” and recently the US Customers and Border Protection (CBP) was asked to report on how AI is being used to trace supply chains for customs control.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.