AI Hype Soars, but Businesses Confront Adoption Challenges

Whilst AI use may not be living up to the hype yet, businesses are still seeking new ways to capitalise on the technology
Recent studies from Reuters Institute and EXL uncover a mismatch between AI hype and genuine public interest, with companies confronting myriad challenges

AI fascination continues to explode, but is the technology actually being used at the same rate?

A recent survey conducted by the Reuters Institute and Oxford University highlights that, whilst young people are the most frequent users of AI, not as many people are harnessing the technology as expected. As reported by the BBC, there appears to be a ‘mismatch’ between the hype around AI and public interest.

Study researchers surveyed 12,000 people in six countries, with only 2% of British respondents from the UK in particular stating they use AI on a daily basis.

ChatGPT continues to dominate public interest in AI

AI continues to garner much public interest in recent months, with the large-scale impact of platforms such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot and Google’s Gemini models causing much conversation. Particularly within the workplace, companies have been quick to explore use cases for the technology, with investments set to increase throughout 2024.

The Reuters/Oxford study finds that ChatGPT is the most widely recognised generative AI (Gen AI) product, with roughly 50% of the online population in the six countries surveyed having heard of it. However, frequent use of the AI assistant is rare, with the survey suggesting that just 1% use it on a daily basis in Japan, alongside 2% in France and the UK and 7% in the United States.

Despite these seemingly low numbers, the research also suggests that people do view Gen AI as having a major impact on society over the next five years - particularly across key industries.

Of the current users of Gen AI, the survey states that younger people are much more likely to use Gen AI products on a regular basis, with 56% of 18–24s saying they have used ChatGPT at least once, compared to 16% of those aged 55 and over.

The most popular use cases for Gen AI include getting information (24%), in addition to creating media such as text, audio, code, images and video (28%).

Enterprise AI adoption isn’t happening at an event rate

Looking forward, it has been suggested that almost every business will be using AI technology. 

According to new research from EXL, 91% of business leaders surveyed stated that they have implemented some form of AI in 2023 and will continue to do so. However, the findings reveal that AI adoption is not currently happening evenly, with EXL stating that even at this early stage where most firms are implementing AI point solutions or proofs of concept, leaders are emerging.

All businesses are currently confronting the challenges of the technology to improve productivity and enhance decision-making. They are facing issues such as growing skills gaps and a lack of accessible data that prevent them from harnessing AI to its full potential.

Whilst AI use may not be living up to the hype yet, businesses are still seeking new ways to capitalise on the technology. Strengthening AI skill sets and bolstering strategy is a key focus for businesses currently, with plenty of companies forming partnerships or clear guidelines to establish a clear pathway to harness the technology responsibly.

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