Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Hope, fear and everything in-between: Understanding attitudes towards AI

By Alex Sheppard, Senior Insights Executive, ROAST

Artificial Intelligence is set to fundamentally change the world of work, but despite the huge popularity of tools such as Chat GPT and Midjourney, adoption of AI is still low, and the path ahead
looks uncertain.
Some view AI as a threat, others as an opportunity, but the general consensus is that we are still
early in its development and there is plenty that remains unknown. Whether you are pro or anti-AI,
understanding attitudes and behaviours around the topic is critical. In this document, ROAST’s
Insights Team have analysed UK data from Global Web Index (GWI) to give up-to-date insights about
how people are using AI and their attitudes towards it.

High level of concern at the rate of AI development

Source: GWI July 2023 Zeitgeist, AI Attitudes, UK, Sample of 893 UK 16-64 Internet Users
Brits are concerned about AI and its growth. Almost 40% believe that AI tools are developing at an
alarming rate and over a third believe development should be paused to ensure it is safe. There is a
degree of uncertainty surrounding its benefits to society as a whole, with consumers most likely to
be neutral (36%) on this question.

Language learning is the most-wanted AI tool usage

Source: GWI July 2023 Zeitgeist, Reasons for Using AI Tools, UK, Sample of 4,131 UK 16-64 Internet Users
When it comes to what people want to use AI tools for, the most appealing use case is to learn new
languages, followed by the broad answer of ‘work’. The ability of AI tools to accelerate previously
laborious tasks make them a win-win for both professionals and businesses alike and has played a
large role in their acceleration into the world of work.

15% are already using AI in the workplace daily

Source: GWI May 2023 Zeitgeist, Usage of AI in the Workplace, UK, Sample of 9,550 UK Adults Aged 18-64
AI is dominating conversations surrounding the workplace, and adoption is increasing with 15% now
using the technology daily. As with most new technology, there is a gap between innovation and
genuine utility. This is also reflected in the findings from LinkedIn’s Future of Work report where it
reported that 51% of US executives are excited about AI advancement, but do not yet know how
their organisation will leverage AI tools and skills.

Consumers believe that AI is putting jobs at risk

Source: GWI May 2023 Zeitgeist, Impact of AI on Job Security, Sample of 15,481 UK 16-64 Internet Users

A primary advantage of AI tools is their ability to automate laborious and time-consuming tasks, but
with automation comes a degree of anxiety around AI adoption putting human jobs at risk.
86% of Brits think that jobs will be put at risk, with the rest saying there will be no impact or that
they are not sure.
Companies are sure to benefit from upskilling their employees and showcasing their ability to adapt
and benefit from AI technological developments, but as this occurs, professionals won’t be able to
shake fears that their jobs could be jeopardised as a result.
Professionals know that there will be advantages in implementing AI tools in the workplace, but
many have not yet figured out the best way to do this. AI is surrounded by fear and uncertainty, but
it seems certain that its application through our workplace processes will only increase over the
coming years.