According to recent research conducted by Deloitte, a majority of individuals in the UK (52%) are familiar with Generative AI, with more than a quarter (26%) having personally utilised it.
The study, based on a survey of 4,150 UK adults aged 16-75, revealed that out of those who have experimented with Generative AI tools, nearly one-third (30%) reported using them only once or twice, while 28 percent incorporated them into their weekly routines.
Moreover, 9 percent of respondents admitted to employing AI tools on a daily basis.
Of those who have engaged with Generative AI, over two-thirds (70%) did so for personal purposes, whereas 34 percent utilised the technology for educational pursuits. Notably, among 16-19-year-olds who have employed Generative AI tools, more than half (56%) have done so for educational purposes.
Paul Lee, the partner and head of technology, media, and telecommunications research at Deloitte, stated:
“Generative AI has captured the imagination of UK citizens and fueled discussion among businesses and policymakers. Within just a few months of the launch of the most popular Generative AI tools, one in four people in the UK have already tried out the technology. As a comparison, it took five years for voice-assisted speakers to achieve the same adoption levels. It is incredibly rare for any emerging technology to achieve these levels of adoption and frequency of usage so rapidly.”
Lee highlighted that while Generative AI is still in its early stages, with ongoing developments required in user interfaces, regulations, legal status, and accuracy, further investments and advancements are expected in the coming months. These improvements could potentially drive wider adoption of Generative AI tools.
Generative AI’s Impact on the Workplace
Deloitte’s research also revealed that a significant portion of Generative AI users (32%) have applied the technology in professional settings, totaling approximately four million people. Interestingly, among all respondents, only 23 percent believed their employers would approve of using Generative AI for work-related purposes.
Costi Perricos, partner and global AI and data lead at Deloitte, stressed the importance of establishing clear guidelines and boundaries for the use of Generative AI in the workplace. Perricos emphasised that businesses should communicate their policies on Generative AI to both employees and customers, ensuring transparency. Users should also be made aware of the risks and potential inaccuracies associated with content generated solely by AI.
Perceptions and Regulation of Generative AI
Among all respondents familiar with Generative AI, 64 percent believed that the technology might lead to a reduction in future job opportunities. Additionally, nearly half (48%) of those aware of Generative AI believed it could replace certain aspects of their own roles in the workplace.
Perricos highlighted the need for organisations to prioritise upskilling their workforce to adapt alongside Generative AI technology. By focusing on using these tools effectively, employers can not only replace routine tasks but also create higher-skilled, non-routine job opportunities. This ongoing shift is expected to continue in the coming decades.
Addressing the perceptions of accuracy in AI responses, Deloitte’s research found that 19 percent of respondents believed that Generative AI consistently produces factually accurate responses. This percentage rose to 43 percent among those who have personally used the technology. Furthermore, 18 percent of respondents believed that responses from Generative AI tools are unbiased, increasing to 38 percent among users.
However, when it comes to creativity and replicating art forms, the study revealed a more skeptical outlook among UK citizens. Forty percent of respondents stated they would be less inclined to listen to music if they knew it had been produced using Generative AI, in contrast to only 16 percent who would be open to doing so.
Derek Mackenzie, CEO at Investigo, a global skills provider, said:
“With AI adoption surging, and the use of chatbots and voice-assisted technology becoming the new normal, it’s vital that businesses have credible plans in place to fully capitalise on this trend. The skills crisis has left many companies struggling to build a robust talent pipeline, and getting access to staff with deep technical knowledge in areas like AI remains a major challenge.
“The technology brings huge benefits such as saving time and money but also challenges like managing operational governance and evolving job roles. Forward thinking businesses will plan for these changes, building links with specialist trainers and providers so they have the skills ready in-house to make the most of what AI has to offer,” said Mackenzie.
Sjuul van der Leeuw, CEO of Deployteq said:
“These figures underline the fact that generative AI is already playing a crucial role in our daily lives and this trend is set to continue indefinitely. From transforming public services, shaking up traditional business models and turbocharging the creative industries, it will continue to have a major impact on our economic growth.
“However, it’s vital that nobody is left behind, and this means having the right training and governance policies in place so that this technology can be used responsibly.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.