New Zealand 'cautious' about generative AI adoption: report

Only 21% of employees believe their organisation is taking advantage of AI, despite widespread use by employees, students

New Zealand 'cautious' about generative AI adoption: report

New Zealand is being cautious in the adoption of generative AI despite widespread use of employees and students across the country, according to a new report.

Deloitte's Generative AI in Asia Pacific report placed New Zealand at the seventh spot, out of nine countries in the region, for generative AI use.

"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," said Amanda Williamson, Generative AI spokesperson at Deloitte, in a statement.

This cautious approach comes amid varying obstacles for generative AI adoption, such as lack of understanding (24%), risk concerns (23%), and the lack of clear strategy (17%).

"Leaders want to first clarify gen AI's benefits and address potential risks before moving forward. This approach aligns with the trustworthy AI practices preferred among our clients," Williamson said.

Widespread adoption of AI

New Zealand is being cautious despite the widespread use of generative AI among employees and students, according to the report. Some 52% of employees in New Zealand have admitted that they are using generative AI, which increases to 72% for students using the emerging tech.

Employees using generative AI said they save up to 5.4 hours at work, while students said they save up to 3.9 hours. Other benefits that they cited include:

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

Source: Deloitte

According to the report, 33% of New Zealanders also believe gen AI will mean Asia Pacific has a greater role in the global economy. Another 49% said they think gen AI will enhance social outcomes.

Despite these findings, only 21% of employees believe their organisation is taking advantage of AI, and only 26% think their industry is maximising the technology.

Williamson said students' familiarity and enthusiasm on generative AI can open an opportunity for employers.

"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 gen AI adoption and the shaping of future workplaces," she said.

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