Business survey: Can AI tools like ChatGPT outperform humans?
April 19th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Business survey: Can AI tools like ChatGPT outperform humans?

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT are being used for writing, coding, graphic design, and video game voiceovers – among many other things. Perhaps inevitably, this has led to concerns that employers might use text generators, text-to-image models and other sophisticated systems to replace human workers.

The latest YouGov B2B survey explores attitudes towards the technology among business decision-makers. By 42% to 16%, they think advancements in AI will be positive for their organisations – but there’s evidence to suggest that bigger companies are more keen on the technology than the rest.

Among large businesses – those with 250 employees or more – over three in five (63%) see AI as a good thing, with two in five (42%) medium businesses bosses – those with 50-249 employees – saying the same. Small businesses with 10-49 employees (32%) and micro businesses (20%) are less enthusiastic.

Can ChatGPT outperform a human worker?

We also asked businesses about ChatGPT specifically. Overall, 17% said they knew “a lot” about it, 41% said they knew “a little”, 19% said they had heard of it but knew nothing about it, and 21% said they hadn’t heard of it at all (2% answered “Don’t know”).

Of the group who have at least some knowledge, 36% believe AI text generation models can perform tasks to a better standard than human workers – with 20% saying they can meet the same standards, and 39% saying they are worse. So we can say that more than half think tools like ChatGPT are of a similar or better quality than human employees (56%).

Among larger businesses, 45% think ChatGPT can outperform humans, with 22% saying it can perform to the same standard and 29% saying it is worse (4% don’t know); among medium sized businesses, 32% say it’s better, 22% about the same, and 45% somewhat worse (1% don’t know). Compared to medium businesses, smaller companies are more likely to say it’s better (47%) or the same (16%), and less likely to say it’s worse (36%), with 4% saying they don’t know.

Micro businesses are the real dissenters here: just 22% say text generation tools are better, with 17% saying they’re about the same – and 52% saying they are worse (9% don’t know).

So do humans need to up their game? Well, not all of them: our data suggests that a quarter of companies who know about tools like ChatGPT are considering using them to replace human workers (23%), but two-thirds (66%) are not. Larger businesses (30% vs. 52%) are more likely to consider doing so than medium (21% vs. 71%), small (21% vs. 72%) or micro businesses (12% vs. 85%).


YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 27 March – 3 April 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 1,028 business decision makers in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education and social grade and reflect the latest ONS population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced. 

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