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Half of Brits Have Used AI Chatbots, But Overestimate Their Accuracy

Deloitte Survey Sheds Light on Generative AI Usage in the UK

Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, has seen rapid adoption amongst adults in the UK, with over a quarter having used such tools despite concerns about their accuracy, according to new research by Deloitte.

The professional services firm surveyed 4,150 British people aged 16-75 and found 52% were aware of generative AI, which can produce human-like text, images and other content in response to prompts.

Strikingly, 26% – around 13 million adults – have actually tried using chatbots and similar AI systems.

This pace of uptake exceeds that of voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and is exceptionally fast for an emerging technology.

10% of generative AI users in the UK deploy it at least once daily, with the majority interacting weekly or monthly. This signals that these AI tools are quickly becoming entrenched in many people’s lives.

Widespread Use for Work and Education

Deloitte’s data indicates generative AI is not just a novelty – 32% have used it for professional purposes, equating to approximately 4 million British workers.

However, only 23% think their employer would approve of this, implying much use is currently unofficial.

Over half (56%) of 16-19-year-olds have deployed AI for education, underlining its growing role in learning.

“With millions of people using Generative AI tools in the workplace, potentially without permission, it is critical that employers offer appropriate guidelines and guardrails,” commented Costi Perricos, Deloitte’s Global AI and Data Lead.

He argued companies must communicate policies, ensure transparency and highlight the risks of AI-generated content.

Trust in Accuracy and Objectivity Seen as Worrying

Although the technology is still developing, the research revealed high levels of confidence in generative AI’s capabilities.

19% of Britons believe it always produces factually accurate responses, rising to 43% amongst actual users. 18% think AI content is unbiased, increasing to 38% for those with first-hand experience.

“Generative AI has the potential to be a powerful tool, but it is imperative that its risks are managed,” said Joanna Conway, Deloitte’s Internet Regulation Lead.

Conway argued that clear rules are needed around bias, accuracy and transparency.

This perceived trustworthiness is at odds with demonstrations of AI chatbots propagating harmful stereotypes, fabricating facts and exhibiting notable limitations.

Experts say generative systems should only be relied upon for critical purposes with human oversight.

Implications for the Future Workplace

Looking ahead, 64% of Britons aware of the technology feel it will reduce job availability long-term.

Nearly half are concerned it may replace aspects of their own role. However, AI experts emphasise it is more likely to augment and enhance human skills rather than wholly replace 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 Derek Mackenzie, CEO of training firm Investigo.

Mackenzie emphasised that businesses should prioritise implementing governance policies and upskilling programs, in order to progress AI in an ethical and productive manner.

In summary, Deloitte’s snapshots suggest generative AI has caught on rapidly amongst the British public, including for professional use. Still, risks are being adopted in an ad hoc way without an adequate understanding of its limitations.

As the technology progresses, experts say emphasis must be placed on governance, skills and utilising AI responsibly to get the benefits while minimising the pitfalls. Striking the right balance will shape whether generative systems are a revolution or evolution for workplaces and broader society.

Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca is our AI news writer. A graduate of Leeds University with an International Journalism MA, she possesses a keen eye for the latest AI developments. Rebecca’s passion for AI, and with her journalistic expertise, brings insightful news stories for our readers.

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