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Generation AI: Ready or not, here we come!

November 2022 marked a watershed moment for generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI). It was catapulted from being a mere dot point on a longer-term IT transformation roadmap, to being the hottest topic amongst senior leaders in Australia and overseas.

Gen AI has seen a rapid emergence in the market thanks to its employee-led nature. User-friendly tools, like ChatGPT, have put the power of Gen AI into everyone’s hands. You only need to know the right question to ask.

A new report Generation AI: Ready or not, here we come! from the Deloitte AI Institute and Deloitte Access Economics puts the spotlight on the people who are leading the charge – Generation AI. This cohort refers to Australia’s students and young workers – digital natives who are embarking on their careers in a world increasingly dominated by AI.

To better understand the upcoming disruption, Deloitte Access Economics surveyed 2,000 employees and 550 students about their current use of Gen AI and the perceived benefits and barriers to using the tool.

We found that Generation AI are already using this technology for work and study. Students are nearly twice as likely as employees to have used Gen AI. When these students graduate and enter the workforce, they will transform how employees engage with and harness Gen AI. Younger workers (aged 18-24) are also three times more likely to use Gen AI than mid-career works (aged 45+).

Users of Gen AI are reaping large benefits, including increased productivity. Employees are typically using Gen AI to conduct research (59%), generate or iterate on ideas (47%) and write internal communications (42%). These uses have created significant time savings– with daily users of Gen AI saving an impressive 5.3 hours each week. The substantive productivity improvements made possible by Gen AI could be a key factor in realising a 4-day work week.

However, employees are concerned about risks associated with Gen AI. 89% of surveyed employees identified at least one concern about its use. Specifically, employees are uncertain if using Gen AI applications will lead to leaks of personal, confidential or sensitive information (75%) and factual errors (73%).

To mitigate these risks, businesses need to do more to formalise Gen AI usage. While one in three employees are using Gen AI, over 70% of businesses are yet to take any measures to prepare themselves and their employees.

Businesses that do not explore the use of Gen AI in their business or industry risk being left behind. Over a quarter of the economy, accounting for nearly $600 billion in economic activity, will be rapidly disrupted by Gen AI – including finance, ICT and media, professional services, education and wholesale trade. Despite this, two in five employees do not believe their business is ready for the upcoming wave of technology disruption.

Access the full report here.


This blog was co-authored by Katie McGregor, Analyst at Deloitte Access Economics.


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