Despite Becoming Mainstream, AI Perceived as Overhyped: Retool's Survey

JJohn November 24, 2023 7:02 AM

As artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT become increasingly mainstream according to a 2023 survey by Retool, the majority of the respondents from tech and related fields still view AI as overblown. This report explores how AI is shaping industries, the role of AI tools in coding, and the challenges faced by businesses in AI adoption.

AI goes mainstream, yet skepticism persists

While AI, particularly generative AI, has undeniably become mainstream, the perception of its value differs greatly among professionals. Retool's survey revealed that AI tools, particularly those like ChatGPT have become exceedingly popular, with usage reaching up to 100 million weekly active users. Despite this, the majority of respondents believe AI is overhyped, with only a quarter of them giving it a fair rating.

Anticipated transformation of industries by AI

The survey respondents overwhelmingly agreed that AI will have a substantial impact on their industries and jobs in the coming five years. Expectations are high for AI to enhance efficiency, eliminate monotonous tasks, provide opportunities to acquire new skills, and revamp design processes. Having said that, there is also a strong demand for AI to progress safely, with suggestions for investment in AI governance and ethics.

Engineers shift from Stack Overflow to AI tools

The survey also touched upon changes in the sources of coding assistance. It was found that engineers are gradually moving away from Stack Overflow, a popular programming site, with almost 60% of them using it less compared to the previous year. The primary reasons behind this shift are the emergence of GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT as effective AI tools that provide contextual code suggestions and function as automated pair programmers.

The survey also highlighted the changing dynamics in the hiring process. It was observed that candidates adept at using AI tools like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot for writing code are rated at 6.7 out of 10 on average. However, not everyone is convinced about the necessity of AI coding skills, with nearly 30% of respondents still neutral about their importance in potential hires.

When asked about the motivations behind businesses' pursuit of AI, respondents identified cost savings and the hype surrounding the technology as primary drivers. Interestingly, only a quarter of respondents saw the potential for direct revenue impact as a significant motivation. This suggests that businesses may see AI more as a means to cut expenses rather than a tool to increase earnings, at least for the time being.

AI use marked by usefulness and imperfections

In terms of practical usage, companies find AI tools largely beneficial, albeit far from perfect. The most common gripes with AI revolve around accuracy, data security, and hallucinations (false outputs). This highlights the necessity for users to fully understand the strengths and limitations of the technology to make the most effective use of it.

OpenAI offerings dominate business AI adoption

Among businesses that have implemented AI, there seems to be a clear preference for OpenAI’s natural language offerings, with various versions of ChatGPT being the most used models. The dominance of off-the-shelf offerings over customization indicates that companies prefer to use pre-packaged services, rather than going through the effort of self-hosting open-source algorithms.

More articles

Also read

Here are some interesting articles on other sites from our network.