Trust, ethical and skills issues stand in the way of ‘game changer’ GenAI

New EMEA research from Alteryx reveals 76% of consumers say genAI is a ‘game changer’ technology, while 79% of businesses are positive about the value it will create.

  • 4 weeks ago Posted in

New research launched by Alteryx, Inc., a leader in AI for enterprise analytics, reveals that 76% of consumers in EMEA believe that AI will be a major gamechanger in the next five years, but remain both sceptical about the value it will deliver (47%) and fearful (41%) of how it will be used.
With over three-quarters (79%) of organisations stating that Generative AI (genAI) adds business value, it’s clear there is a disconnect that needs to be overcome to prove the value to consumers of using AI in both their personal lives and while at work.
The “Market Research: Attitudes and Adoption of Generative AI” report, which surveyed 690 EMEA IT business leaders and 1100 members of the general public, highlights trust, ethics and skills issues as consistent concerns for both business leaders and consumers that may be undermining the successful rollout and adoption of genAI.
Misinformation, inaccuracies and AI hallucinations undermine trust
Trusting the output of genAI is a major concern for both business leaders and consumers alike. More than a third of consumers believe the technology will give rise to fake news (36%) and are concerned about how hackers may use genAI to commit crimes (42%) too. Meanwhile, half (50%) of business leaders say their organisation has already experienced misinformation produced by genAI.
Alongside this, the accuracy of information delivered by genAI was also called into question, with findings from the general public highlighting that 50% of the information they received from genAI was incorrect, and 38% believed the information was out of date. Businesses also reported issues with genAI generating infringements on copyright or intellectual property rights (40%), as well as receiving unexpected or unintended outputs (36%).
However, the biggest issue impacting trust in genAI from businesses (62%) and the public (74%) is ‘AI hallucinations’ – when genAI produces incorrect predictions or nonsensical outputs. For businesses, this is where applying generative AI to the right use cases, with the right technology and guardrails is needed to alleviate concerns. Almost half of consumers (45%) also call for AI to be regulated.
Concerns remain about the ethical use and risks of genAI
Alongside concerns about the accuracy and trustworthiness of genAI outputs, business leaders and consumer respondents also have strong and similar views on where GenAI should never be used.
Over half (53%) of the general public say they don’t want genAI to be used for ethics/decision-making, while 41% of business respondents cited critical decision-making. Where they slightly differ is on specific no-go use cases, with consumers citing politics (46%) and businesses highlighting healthcare (40%) as where genAI has no place in decision-making.
These concerns are somewhat validated by the research. Any AI-driven system is only as good as the data it’s trained on, however, the data highlights worrying shortfalls within organisations. Only 33% of leaders said that their business ensures that data used to train genAI is diverse and not biased. Added to this, only 36% say they have ethical guidelines in place and 52% say they have data privacy and security policies for genAI use.
This lack of focus on data integrity exposes organisations to risks, with 63% of business leaders stating that ethics is their top genAI risk category, followed by data (62%). This shows a need for greater governance to build trust and mitigate risk in how employees use genAI in the workplace.
GenAI skillsets are emerging but more data literacy is needed to unlock value
To drive successful adoption of genAI requires democratisation of the technology across the organisation. The good news is that consumers are actively using genAI tools in their personal lives and within their jobs – mainly for searching for information (57% in occupation and 59% in personal life), writing emails at work (49%) and learning a new skill at home (33%).
Meanwhile, business leaders say they’re turning to genAI in the workplace for data analysis (42%), cybersecurity (41%), and customer support (35%) and since the start of 2023, have run an average of three pilot projects, proving you can't simply go from zero to generative AI success overnight.
But while 74% said these pilots have been successful and 53% stated it was easier than expected to get results, 28% found it harder to leverage genAI in the organisation than anticipated. Businesses report facing challenges including security concerns (41%), data privacy and security (39%), and quality and reliability of outputs (32%).
So, while genAI is starting to deliver business value, these roadblocks need to be overcome. A contributing factor alongside insufficient governance frameworks, could be a lack of data literacy. A fifth of businesses say they don’t have mandatory genAI training in place (20%) and 28% report that lacking skilled talent is holding them back from scaling genAI across the organisation. While genAI is still in its relative infancy, getting training right today is essential.
Trevor Schulze, CIO at Alteryx, “As we navigate the early stages of genAI adoption, it’s vital that businesses and the general public truly understand the value of AI and mitigate fears. However, we know from the data that trust, ethical concerns, a skills shortage, fear of privacy infringement, and algorithmic bias are critical roadblocks that must be overcome. To truly reap the benefits of this ‘game-changing' tech, organisations must accelerate their data journey, implement better governance and empower non-technical users to access and analyse data in a secure and trusted environment, while addressing privacy and bias concerns. Get this right and genAI has the potential to drive innovation, enhance decision-making, and deliver significant value in both the workplace and the personal lives of employees.”  
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