Singapore firms embrace generative AI, but public wary

Four in every five of businesses in the Asia-Pacific region believe that generative AI adds value, but two-fifths of the general public are skeptical about its value and fearful about its future, according to new research from Alteryx.

This is based on a survey conducted by Coleman Parks, covering 400 IT business leaders and 600 members of the general public in APAC.

The research highlights similarities in generative artificial intelligence usage. Two-thirds (66%) of the general public use generative AI to search for information, and 45% of businesses use it for data analysis.

Regarding sentiment, 78% of the general public feel positive about the increasing use of generative AI to create content they consume, but 47% added that its use needs to be regulated.

In Singapore, the general public in Singapore ranked ethics as the highest activity that generative AI should not be involved in (50%), while business respondents ranked critical decision making as the highest activity (41%).

Also, 69% of business leaders reported that AI hallucinations negatively impact their overall trust in AI, while 73% of the general public say the same.

In the past year, businesses have run an average of three pilots using generative AI, and 73% say the projects were very or extremely successful.

Businesses listed data privacy and security (49%), security concerns (46%), and quality and reliability of outputs (36%) as top challenges in scaling AI. Only 35% reported that ethical use guidelines were in place, lower than the regional average of 39%.

Getting training right today is essential, especially since 29% reported that a lack of skilled talent is holding them back from scaling generative AI across the organization. Yet, 15% of organizations using generative AI don’t offer any mandatory AI training.

There is also a discrepancy in generative AI’s impact on existing job roles with 73% of businesses feel that generative AI will likely replace existing job roles in the organisation over the next two to three years, whereas only 40% of the general public believe generative AI will lead to job losses.

Three in five (65%) businesses plan to continue to increase their investment in generative AI technologies. However, members of the general public are concerned that generative AI will give rise to fake news (39%) and be used by hackers to commit crimes (37%).

Half of the businesses (50%) say their organisation has experienced misinformation produced by generative AI, with the materials delivered by generative AI infringing copyrights or other intellectual property rights (46%) and containing biased information (46%).

Similarly, 52% of the general public reported that information produced by generative AI was incorrect, and 47% believed it was outdated.

“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,” said Trevor Schulze, CIO at Alteryx.

“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,” said Schulze.