How generative AI is transforming the workplace

Generative AI (genAI) has come to work. “Half the people who are using genAI are in what we consider prime working years,” said our analyst Max Willens on a recent webinar. “This diffuse adoption of a technology, especially one as momentous as this one, really doesn’t have much precedent.”

More than a quarter (25.6%) of US internet users will use generative AI at least monthly this year, per our forecast.

  • Most of those users (58.0%) are using it at the office. Among US internet users, 14.8% will enter a prompt for generative AI at work at least once per month in 2023. This will grow to 26.6% in 2025.
  • Generative AI use is spread out among generations. More than half of generative AI users are ages 35 and older, with usage concentrated among those in the middle of their prime working years (ages 24 to 44).
  • Generative AI adoption has grown at a faster pace than other recent technologies. In ChatGPT’s second year (i.e., 2023), generative AI will reach 77.8 million US users. Tablets only reached 33.4 million and smartphones only 27.6 million in their second years, per our forecast.

How is generative AI being used at work?

  • While the technology can be used to cut costs, for those who aren’t considered high AI performers (i.e., those who said less than 20% of EBIT in 2022 were attributable to AI use), 1 in 5 respondents said AI has helped them increase revenues from their core business, per McKinsey and Company.
  • As of April 2023, the top three business functions for AI use worldwide were IT, sales and customer service, and marketing and communications, per Capgemini Research Institute.

While consumers are wary of generative AI, workplace adoption will increase as users grow more familiar with it.

  • “Once you understand what genAI can and can’t do, you feel more comfortable knowing what autonomy you want to give it,” Willens said.
  • In countries where adoption is highest (e.g., Brazil, India, China, and South Africa), trust is also highest.
  • More than 90% of respondents said they were comfortable with some AI involvement in managerial decision-making at work, per KPMG.

Workers are concerned about generative AI

  • There is a large gap between awareness of generative AI risks and mitigation. For example, 56% of respondents said the inaccuracy of generative AI was a risk relevant to their company, but only 32% believed their company was working to mitigate the risk, per a McKinsey survey from April.
  • Employees are concerned that their jobs may be replaced by this technology, that they may need re-skilling, and that they may need to increase their productivity to meet the expected output.

Watch the full webinar.

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