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Only 25% of business executives anticipate workforce reduction as primary impact of generative AI, says MIT Technology Review Insights’ new research report

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Produced by MIT Technology Review Insights in partnership with Adobe, EY, and Owkin, “Generative AI deployment: Strategies for smooth scaling” explores global leaders’ key decision points for putting AI to use in the enterprise.

In July and August 2023, MIT Technology Review Insights polled 1,000 business leaders about their organizations’ approaches to implementing generative AI technologies. Respondents were distributed among 11 industries, including consumer goods and retail, financial services, manufacturing, and pharma and health care. The report also draws on in-depth interviews with academics, data leaders, and AI experts.

The key findings are as follows:

  • Executives recognize the transformational potential of generative AI, but they are moving cautiously to deploy. Nearly all firms–96%–believe generative AI will affect their business. However, only 9% have fully deployed a generative AI use case in their organization, which indicates a wait-and-see posture.

  • Companies will not go it alone: Partnerships with both startups and Big Tech will be critical to smooth scaling. Most executives (75%) plan to work with partners to bring generative AI to their organization at scale, but only 10% consider partnering to be a top implementation challenge, suggesting that a strong ecosystem of providers and services is available for collaboration and co-creation.

  • Access to generative AI will benefit small and large companies alike. Company size has no bearing on a firm’s likelihood to be experimenting with generative AI, our poll found. Small companies (those with annual revenue less than $500 million) were three times more likely than mid-sized firms ($500 million to $1 billion) to have already deployed a generative AI use case (13% versus 4%).

  • One-quarter of respondents expect generative AI’s primary effect to be to reduce their workforce. The figure was higher in industrial sectors like energy and utilities (43%), manufacturing (34%), and transport and logistics (31%). It was lowest in IT and telecommunications (7%). Overall, this is a modest figure compared to the more dystopian job replacement scenarios.

  • Regulation looms, but uncertainty is today’s greatest challenge. Generative AI has spurred a flurry of activity as legislators try to understand risks, but truly impactful regulation will move at the speed of government.

“Business leaders are cautiously pursuing the transformative potential of generative AI, with nearly all respondents acknowledging its impact on their businesses,” says Laurel Ruma, global editorial director, MIT Technology Review Insights. “However, only a small fraction have fully embraced generative AI use cases, highlighting a measured approach to implementation. Workforce implications vary across industries, and while regulation looms, uncertainty stands as today’s primary challenge.”

Click here to download the report.

For more information please contact:

Natasha Conteh
Head of communications
MIT Technology Review Insights 

About MIT Technology Review Insights

MIT Technology Review Insights is the custom publishing division of MIT Technology Review, the world’s longest-running technology magazine, backed by the world’s foremost technology institution—producing live events and research on the leading technology and business challenges of the day. Insights conducts qualitative and quantitative research and analysis in the U.S. and abroad and publishes a wide variety of content, including articles, reports, infographics, videos, and podcasts. And through its growing MIT Technology Review Global Insights Panel, Insights has unparalleled access to senior-level executives, innovators, and entrepreneurs worldwide for surveys and in-depth interviews.