According to a survey conducted by Solita and IRO Research on Generative AI in Finnish top 500 companies in Finland, business leaders are clearly in a wait-and-see mode. However, companies that already have experience in using AI strongly believe in its positive effects.
51% of large companies say they are preparing to make some use of generative AI. A third of respondents, 32%, do not use generative AI in their business and there are no initiatives or policies in place for generative AI. The most convinced of the transformative power of generative AI is the top IT management.
The results are revealed in a survey by Solita and IRO Research on the use of generative AI in top 500 companies in Finland. The target group of the survey included the top business, development and IT management of Finland’s top 500 companies. The data was collected between 21 June and 3 August 2023.
Enthusiasts and cautious observers
Only 2% of respondents do not believe that generative AI will impact their business. According to the study, companies are splitting into two groups when it comes to using generative AI: experimenting enthusiasts and cautious observers. 17% of respondents believe that generative AI will have at least a fairly significant impact on the productivity of the company. Companies with experience in using generative AI have a stronger belief in its positive impact: 75% of those with experience believe it will impact their business and 45% believe it will also have a positive impact on the productivity of the company.
For companies that have tried generative AI and believe in its positive impact, a few key insights stand out.
“The experimenting companies with good experiences with generative AI have mainly invested in training their staff in generative AI and making selected generative AI tools available to them. In addition, these companies have invested in deep knowledge to support the adoption of generative AI, either through their partners or their own AI teams,” says Mikael Ruohonen, Head of Data Science and AI at Solita.
Only a few companies have yet invested in being a forerunner and proceeding quickly with generative AI pilot projects.
“It is a significant finding that companies that already have experience of using generative AI have a stronger belief in its positive impact. Competition to reap the benefits of new technologies is intensifying globally. Companies need to wake up to the importance of experimentation and a deep understanding of the risks in their own industry and business,” says Lasse Girs, responsible for the application and development of generative AI at Solita.
Ethical use of generative AI important for sustainability
Top executives at large companies see the greatest benefits and opportunities for generative AI in communications and content production (74%), improving customer service (64%) and improving production and marketing (62%). 60% of the respondents believe that generative AI will improve sales and marketing in their company.
The companies do not seem to fully recognize the risks and ethical problems of generative AI, nor its potential in a broader context.
Data security and privacy risks (76%), and misuse or lack of skills or resources (73%) are seen as the biggest risks for generative AI. Surprisingly, only one in ten respondents believe that AI will increase discrimination or increase costs.
“The impact of generative AI is not yet widely believed in by large Finnish companies. In addition to understanding its productivity potential, the understanding of the risks is still narrow and even optimistic. In general, large companies do not seek new business models through AI, but use generative AI mainly to speed up operational work,” says Lasse Girs.
“Ethical business is an important value in companies, but in the case of GenAI it is not recognised. Companies do not seem to be aware of the generative AI supply chain, for example. Behind large language models is a huge amount of underpaid human labour done in inhumane conditions,” says Anna Metsäranta, Head of Sustainable AI at Solita.
Lasse Girs, Head of Generative AI Enablement,
[email protected], +358 40 591 8106
Mikael Ruohonen, Business Lead, Data Science and AI,
[email protected], +358 41 451 6808
Anna Metsäranta, Head of Sustainable AI,
[email protected], +358 40 523 2321