In late January, we surveyed 500 tech professionals across a dozen departments and a wide variety of age groups and company sizes to get their take on all things related to generative AI — particularly in the workplace. How often do they use it (if at all) and what do they use it for? Why are professionals not using it? What are their team’s budgets for AI tools? Are they worried about it replacing their roles?
We housed the answers to these questions and many, many more in the first edition of our annual series: The AI in Business Trend Report. Download the report to get access to all the insights about the intersection of AI business we uncovered. But for those with limited time, I put together this TLDR executive summary of a few of the most significant findings. (This is merely a summary, not an analysis but stay tuned because we have plenty of analysis coming!)
Ultimately, our goal with the report is to shed light on the state of generative AI in the business world today and what future adoption might look like. Now let’s dive in.
Who Is Using It and How Much Are They Spending?
Just over half (52.6%) of our respondents reported using generative AI, with Chat GPT, CopyAI, and Jasper noted as the top three writing tools, collectively accounting for over 50% of the total usage. On the other hand, image generators Dall-E, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion represented a combined total of 24.2% of use.
When examining generative AI adoption across different age groups, Millennials and Gen Z showed the highest usage, averaging a 58% adoption rate. Professionals aged 35-44 followed with a 52.1% adoption rate while 43.7% of respondents aged 45-54 said they embrace the technology.
An average of 61.5% of companies between 11-1000 employees currently use generative AI in the workplace, which accounts for businesses within the “small,” “medium”, and “large/enterprise” categories. Companies on either side of that spectrum, those with 1-10-people and 1,001 employees and above, show adoption rates of 30% and 39% respectively — a massive drop off.
Let’s take a look at budget spends based on company size.
A majority of all respondents (65%) that use generative AI tools said it helps them do their jobs better. An average of 46.1% of these individuals employ generative AI in their work a few times a week. Just under 33% overall use it daily. Directors, c-suite professionals and solo entrepreneurs said they use the tools the most on a daily basis. Directors and c-suite also said the tools help them do their job better at higher rates than any other group.
Overall, the top five biggest use cases for gen AI in the workplace are creative writing, email marketing, idea generation, blog posts and writing product content. Users also ranked creativity as the number one skill necessary to use the technology efficiently, followed by prompt engineering, strategy and editing.
Let’s look at the benefits users see based on how they employ those four skills.
About 73% of all respondents believe generative AI tools are safe and ethical. And 68.4% don’t feel that their jobs are at risk from it. C-suite leaders and individual contributors are least concerned in this area while, oddly, VPs and directors feel most at risk.
83% of users and non-users alike expect AI models to improve in accuracy, and 70% are excited for the future of the technology. Additionally, 76.6% want to learn more about using generative AI in their roles, including 48% non-users and 35% who currently don't think it improves their job performance.
Hesitations, but Looking Ahead
Of those who do not use generative AI, their top five concerns with the technology were factual inaccuracy, generic outputs, outputs lacking the correct tone, biased outputs and plagiarism. However, 23.6% of these respondents said quality wasn’t a concern for them at all.
It appears that the professionals who find no value in generative AI tools might have job functions or tasks that gen AI currently cannot assist with. Some respondents shared this view when asked, "What feature would drive you to use AI?" They mentioned "automating distribution or payment processors," "increased (visual) data and generated trend lines or analysis," and "process automation or a highly advanced assistant like Alexa 2.0."
But despite those obstacles, 90% of all respondents said they plan to increase, or at least maintain, their existing generative AI budget. 78.6% of companies with 51-200 employees plan to boost their budgets (the most of any demographic) followed by 75.5% of businesses with 1000+ staff.
Additionally, 43.2% of all non-users say there’s a high likelihood they will use generative AI in the future.
This wraps up the preview of our AI in Business Trend Report. Be sure to download the full asset to get access to all 32 of the charts and figures we present as well as our in-depth analysis of the findings. Also be on the lookout for additional video and blog content that break down these findings even further!