September 15, 2023

GenAI Making Gains in Business Use

By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
Though there’s still much wariness about generative artificial intelligence and AI in general, one in four internet users will be using genAI at least once monthly this year, according to a report from the experts at eMarketer/Insider Intelligence.

This week’s report cited one key reason for that already steady use of genAI: Those internet users’ workplaces, where 58% of users are tapping into the newer technology while at the office, the report said.

“Among US internet users, 14.8% will enter a prompt for generative AI at work at least once per month in 2023,” eMarketer said. “This will grow to 26.6% in 2025.”

What Is Generative AI?

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that uses machine learning to generate new data that is similar to existing data on which it already has been trained — it can create new images, videos, music, text and even software code.

Used in such fields as art, design, gaming and medicine, some examples of genAI use are:

ChatGPT, which is a chatbot developed by OpenAI that can answer questions and generate human-like responses from text prompts; DALL-E, another AI model from OpenAI that can create images and artwork from text prompts; Google Bard, which is Google’s generative AI chatbot and rival to ChatGPT 2; and, Firefly, which is a generative AI tool developed by Adobe that can create unique designs for graphic designers.

“Half the people who are using genAI are in what we consider prime working years (ages 24 to 44),” Max Willens, an eMarketer analyst, said during a recent eMarketer webinar. “This diffuse adoption of a technology, especially one as momentous as this one, really doesn’t have much precedent.”

Marketers Among GenAI’s Top Users

As of April, the top three business functions for genAI in use worldwide were information technology, sales and customer service, and marketing and communications, eMarketer said, citing a study from Capgemini Research Institute.

Website marketing and content marketing are among the advertising strategies in which marketers are tapping into AI’s abilities.

“Generative AI adoption has grown at a faster pace than other recent technologies,” the eMarketer report said. “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.”

And while consumers generally are wary of generative AI, workplace adoption will increase as users grow more familiar with the tech, eMarketer predicts.

“Once you understand what genAI can and can’t do, you feel more comfortable knowing what autonomy you want to give it,” said eMarketer’s Willens.

Adoption of generative AI is highest in Brazil, India, China and South Africa, and trust in the newer technology also is highest in those countries, according to eMarketer’s report.

Why Workers Are Hesitant About AI

The use of AI is one of the chief issues in the ongoing, months-long Hollywood writers strike, with the Writers Guild of America GA calling for regulation of artificial intelligence in scriptwriting for TV shows and movies. Congress also has raised the issue of regulating the new tech.

Nonetheless, more than 90% of the workers who are using genAI thus far in their fields do feel comfortable with some AI involvement in managerial decision-making, eMarketer said, citing studies from KPMG.

However, “there is a large gap between awareness of generative AI risks and mitigation,” eMarketer added.

“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.”

And then there’s the uneasiness about AI in general:

“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,” eMarketer concluded in this week’s report.

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