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Businesses are embracing AI more than general public, research suggests  

AI research
Image credit: Iryna Imago / Shutterstock

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT are being used far more by businesses than the general public, new research suggests.

Recently launched AI products exploded in popularity following the arrival of advanced chatbot ChatGPT in 2022, with the OpenAI flagship product attaining 100 million users faster than any other consumer application.

A new survey of 12,000 people across six countries from the Reuters Institute and the University of Oxford, however, has found that just 2% of the British public said they use tools like ChatGPT regularly.

New technological breakthroughs often create significant hype at an early stage, only for public adoption to tail off. The findings from the survey suggest this may be the case for consumers when it comes to generative AI.

However, separate research has found that enterprises are much more interested in the technology.

Last week, a study published by professional services firm PwC revealed that sectors in the global economy most exposed to AI, such as legal and IT, have seen a significant boost in productivity.

PwC also reported that job listings emphasising AI skills were being posted almost four times more frequently relative to other listings and employers in the UK were willing to pay 14% for staff in roles that require AI skills.

Research from fellow accountancy firm EY similarly found that many UK businesses are looking to increase internal AI investments. Its recent survey of 100 UK CEOs found that half were prioritising AI technology investments, more than any other strategic focus.

And separate research from tech giant IBM, published on Wednesday, found that 64% of UK&I CEOs say they will take more risks than competitors when it comes to AI to maintain a competitive edge.

These findings suggest there is still plenty of interest in AI from businesses, despite low uptake from consumers.

Companies may still be betting on AI, however, not all businesses are sure that’s a good thing.

Research from consultancy firm The In Group claimed that over half (56%) of boardroom leaders in the UK believe AI is the biggest direct threat to their organisation, with concerns that an inability to keep up with the technology will leave many companies behind.