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New Deloitte reports show ‘Generation AI’ are driving GenAI adoption but businesses need to adapt to accelerate scaling

Generative AI in Asia Pacific

The survey positions New Zealand as cautious in adopting GenAI, in line with other developed nations who are opting for a considered approach.

Auckland, 16 May 2024 – A new Deloitte report titled Generative AI in Asia Pacific: Young employees lead as employers play catch-up highlights the role of tech-savvy, younger employees, known as ‘Generation AI’, in driving Generative AI (GenAI) adoption, presenting new challenges and opportunities for employers as they adapt to these changes.

Emphasising the need for employers and policymakers to adapt to this rapidly evolving technology, the report which surveyed 11,900 individuals in Asia Pacific reveals that 'Generation AI' are leading the way in saved work hours, new skill development opportunities, more sustainable workloads, and increased productivity.

New Zealand is cautious in adopting GenAI

The survey positions New Zealand as cautious in adopting GenAI, ranking seventh out of nine countries in the region and just ahead of Australia by two percentage points. The main obstacles are similar to those in Australia: a lack of understanding (24%), concerns about risk (23%), and no clear strategy (17%).

Dr Amanda Williamson, Generative AI spokesperson at Deloitte, says, "New Zealand's adoption rate, which reflects the cautious stance of other developed economies like Japan and Australia, suggests a preference for a considered approach to AI. Leaders want to first clarify GenAI's benefits and address potential risks before moving forward. This approach aligns with the trustworthy AI practices preferred among our clients."

Developed economies in the Asia-Pacific not only lag in GenAI adoption but also have a significant number of workers in sectors likely to be affected by AI. Yet in New Zealand, nearly half (48%) of workers believe their job roles won't be influenced by GenAI, whereas only 31% of workers in Japan, India, and China feel the same.

A big bang, short fuse scenario

To further unpack the impact of GenAI on the Asia Pacific region, Deloitte Access Economics mapped 18 industries in terms of the extent of GenAI’s impact—the “bang”—and how soon those industries will be affected—the length of the “fuse”. It is estimated USD$5 trillion of economy activity within industries will face a short fuse, big bang scenario.

The four industries set to be impacted are finance, ICT and media, professional services, and education which account for an average of one-fifth of the economies of each market in Asia Pacific. This share is expected to grow as some of the markets increasingly shift towards service industries that face higher impact. These industries are also where over 40% of students who are using GenAI plan to start their careers, further accelerating the pace of transformation.

GenerationAI leading the charge

The likelihood of using GenAI is significantly higher among the younger generation, aged 18 to 24, compared to those who are mid-career. According to the report, 52% of New Zealand employees have engaged with Generative AI, with the rate jumping to 72% among university students. Students and employees are leading the GenAI revolution across Asia Pacific but only half believe their manager knows they are using it.

Just 21% of employees believe their business is taking full advantage of GenAI, but those who are incorporating GenAI into their daily work routine are seeing benefits, saving an average of 5.4 hours each week in New Zealand. Of those, 41% believe the time saved has positively impacted their work-life balance.

New Zealander's top three ranked benefits of GenAI are:

  • Increased speed at completing tasks (79%)
  • Increased ability to generate new ideas (70%)
  • Improved quality of your outputs or work tasks (66%)

Dr Williamson notes, "The data suggests that with nearly three-quarters of university students familiar with AI, there's a unique opportunity for New Zealand organisations to harness their enthusiasm to accelerate GenAI adoption and the shaping of future workplaces."

The report recommends three impactful strategies for the Asia Pacific region:

  1. Develop and implement a GenAI strategy that targets your business's key areas of value.
  2. Encourage employees to actively engage with their own AI adoption process.
  3. Evolve your data infrastructure and governance incrementally to support GenAI.

Dr Williamson concludes, "The findings emphasise the importance of AI education for New Zealand's business leaders and the critical role of ethical AI use and strategic considerations moving forward. Organisations that advance their AI capabilities gradually, addressing high-value use cases with the support of an AI-savvy workforce, are making noteworthy progress."

You can find the full Asia Pacific report, including New Zealand specific findings, here


Methodology: Generative AI in Asia Pacific

Deloitte Access Economics developed this report in collaboration with the Deloitte AI institute and Deloitte Insights to understand the use of Gen AI by employees and students, current actions taken by individuals, businesses and educational providers, the barriers to Gen AI adoption and expectations for the future across thirteen countries in the Asia Pacific region.

This report is informed by a survey fielded by Dynata from February to April 2024. Survey respondents were either students or employees at various levels across a range of industries. A total of 2,903 students and 9,042 employees from the 13 countries were surveyed (see Table A.1 for individual country sample breakdown).

In New Zealand, there were 209 students and 1,004 employees surveyed.