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Businesses Must Build Trust to Operate GenAI, Finds New Survey

Businesses Must Build Trust to Operate GenAI, Finds New Survey

  • New global study assesses the opinion of 10,000 consumers on finding the balance between regulation and innovation of GenAI

  • There is interest in GenAI across the globe with 72% of consumers surveyed having some excitement around GenAI

  • While 68% said it is essential regulation does not discourage business innovation, GenAI transparency is a must



Thoughtworks (NASDAQ: TWKS), a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering, today released findings from a new global study that reveals there is consumer appetite for businesses using generative AI (GenAI) in the innovation of products and services, yet only where businesses are transparent and proactively communicate how they are using it. The research examines what consumers expect from businesses to maintain their GenAI social license to innovate with emerging regulations.


“GenAI: What consumers want” details findings from the responses of 10,000 consumers across ten countries. 


Among the key findings:

  • There are equal amounts of fear and excitement about GenAI

    • While 30% are mostly excited about GenAI, there are 42% that are part excited, part nervous.

    • There is hope from 83% of consumers that businesses can use GenAI to be more innovative and to serve them better. Those more likely to buy from businesses using GenAI would do so for greater innovation (59%), to give them a better customer experience through faster support (51%) and a more personalized experience (50%).

    • But there is an expectation that businesses should use technology ethically while they innovate (87%).

  • Majority agree that regulation is necessary for responsible use of GenAI  

    • People recognize the need for GenAI regulation, with governments playing a vital role in its design, development and deployment. The vast majority (90%) agree government regulations are necessary to hold businesses accountable for how they use GenAI.

    • If a business fails to incorporate responsible and ethical thinking when using GenAI, 93% of surveyed consumers say they risk facing detrimental impacts, such as legal and regulatory issues (65%) and reputational damage (65%).

    • Businesses need to be transparent about their use of GenAI, otherwise they risk losing current and prospective customers. The greater part of consumers (85%) prefer businesses that stand for transparency and equity in their use of GenAI.

  • Businesses have a social license to operate GenAI

    • Of those surveyed, 68% believe businesses must continue their rapid pace of GenAI innovation while effective government regulation is developed.

    • In order for businesses to use GenAI appropriately, consumers believe regulations should have businesses clearly outline how data is used (68%), ensure there is no illegal content generated (63%) and disclose when content is generated by GenAI (62%).


Speaking on the report’s findings, Mike Mason, chief AI officer, Thoughtworks, said, “In a world where trust is paramount, businesses must understand that gaining the public’s confidence through ethical AI is not just a regulatory obligation, it's a strategic advantage. For decades, Thoughtworks has advised our clients on how to tap into the full advantage of the latest emerging technology while also building responsible governance into business processes to protect customers’ trust.” 


Vanson Bourne’s principal research manager, Lauren Woodley said, “Thoughtworks took a unique perspective to the fast-paced topic of GenAI, exploring how consumers feel when interacting with businesses that use it. The findings are alarming, with consumers stating many concerns surrounding how businesses use their GenAI-related data. This emphasizes the social responsibility businesses have in building trust and reassuring consumers. If businesses are able to tackle the concerns through being proactive and transparent, the future of GenAI looks positive – from more innovative products / services, to an improved customer experience, the results do indicate feelings of excitement among consumers. But the overshadowing cloud of fear must be lifted first. ”


Mason continued, “GenAI offers endless possibilities. We’re helping our clients experiment to prove out new capabilities that survey respondents are excited about, such as idea generation for more innovative products, faster support and more personalized experiences and then productionizing those experiments as enterprise-grade software.” 


“GenAI: What consumers want” is available for download here.


Join us on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. ET for a LinkedIn Live discussion on taking a responsible approach to GenAI with Thoughtworks’ Mike Mason and Mozilla Foundation’s Ramak Molavi Vasse’i moderated by Vanson Bourne’s Lauren Woodley. More details on the discussion here



Thoughtworks commissioned independent market research agency Vanson Bourne to conduct this research. The global study surveyed 10,000 consumers in August 2023, with 1,000 based in each of Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, UK and US. All consumers were 18 years old or above and had to have awareness of GenAI to take part.


All interviews were conducted using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitable candidates were given the opportunity to participate.


Supporting resources:



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About Thoughtworks

Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation. We are over 11,500 people strong across 51 offices in 18 countries. For 30 years, we’ve delivered extraordinary impact together with our clients by helping them solve complex business problems with technology as the differentiator.

Media contact:

Linda Horiuchi, global head of public relations 

Email: linda.horiuchi@thoughtworks.com

Phone: +1 (646) 581-2568