What You Should Know from McKinsey’s New Report on Generative AI 

By: Sarah Roberts

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More companies, including Verbit, are incorporating generative AI into their products and workflows. Business leaders are racing to understand this quickly evolving technology, and McKinsey’s recent eye-opening report offers some helpful insights to do so.

McKinsey’s team pulled key metrics, use cases and intel on the market potential of gen AI. They noted that business leaders are implementing it at a record pace. In fact, predictions now indicate that by 2040, generative AI will “compete with the top 25 percent of people” in many tasks. Many are using gen AI to fuel greater creativity, for problem-solving and for logical reasoning. This outcome is decades earlier than experts believed it would be.

In this rapidly developing landscape, professionals must find ways to incorporate generative AI into their products and processes to stay competitive. Verbit recently did so by releasing our gen-AI based transcription tool, Gen.V.

Here are some of the key findings from McKinsey’s report that you and your peers should know as you look to invest more in gen AI. 

Gen AI is poised to bring a $4.4 trillion annual economic boost  

For perspective, the McKinsey report’s predicted $4.4 trillion annual boost is higher than the GDP of the UK. According to a separate Goldman Sachs study, the economic benefits would come largely from a rise in productivity. The predicted 1.5-point increase in productivity would translate into around 36 additional minutes of work every week for each employee and double the current rate of productivity growth. If accurate, this would make generative AI’s impact similar to that of the personal computer and electric motor.  

However, McKinsey reports that seeing the full economic effect will take time. The adoption of generative AI by businesses and employees won’t happen overnight, and many people don’t yet have the skills to use it effectively.    

Several people in business attire look at computers and smile

Gen AI is finding a foothold in marketing, sales, banking and tech  

It’s not just younger, tech-savvy individuals leaning on generative AI to improve their efficiency. McKinsey’s findings suggest that baby boomers are using generative AI at work more frequently than millennials.  

Generative AI is being applied to content writing, including crafting job descriptions and personalized emails, and even to create synthetic data sets for data-generating apps to use and analyze to improve their performance.  

The report predicts that marketing, sales, tech and banking will see some of the earliest and most impactful gains from generative AI. For sales and marketing, the potential for efficient lead identification and personalized outreach are making professionals excited. The technology’s ability to accelerate software development is predicted to have a strong impact on the tech and banking industries. 

Despite the enthusiasm in some sectors, the report also states that organizations are underusing generative AI for commercial purposes. In sales and marketing, 90% of interviewees stated that their teams should use generative AI often. However, 60% reported their organizations rarely do.  

AI is greatly improving the workplace 

According to McKinsey, developers who used generative AI had better experiences at work thanks to the easy fast access to information and automation. It’s possible that AI tools could improve talent retention. 

The ability to “predict patterns in natural language and use it dynamically” means that professionals in law, technology, education and the arts will find parts of their jobs automated far sooner than anticipated. This development is a huge shift in the population impacted by AI as most previous changes to professions occurred in physical work activities.  

Despite these indications, there are too few people with the right skills to work with AI. Employees are aware of their deficiencies in this area as well: 

  • About half admit they should know more about AI than they do 
  • 56% say they don’t know how to use it at work 
  • 40% report feeling overwhelmed by the constant updates in the technology. 

These feelings are causing anxiety among many who fear AI could leave them out of work. Effectively incorporating AI into businesses will require that organizations overcome this skill gap by finding AI-literate people and investing in training their current employees to interact with these tools.  

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Proceed with caution: Don’t let gen AI eclipse other tools 

Despite the impressive abilities of AI, professionals need to be realistic about its shortcomings. Companies already found issues with it being biased. There are also risks of inaccuracies if no one fact-checks the outputs. It’s therefore critical to keep humans in the loop.  

Ethical considerations create another potential pitfall. Recently, the UK scientific journal Physica Scripta unpublished a peer-reviewed paper after discovering the words “Regenerate response” within the text. “Regenerate response” is a button on ChatGPT’s platform that follows its responses to prompts. Finding it in the publication indicated that the “authors” used AI to write the submission. The submitting scientists admitted using the AI-powered text generator, thereby violating the publication’s ethical standards.  

Also, while generative AI is exciting, other types of AI still have vital roles to play. It’s important to identify the right technology for a task, whether it’s generative AI, other forms of AI or something else. For instance, AI-powered speech recognition, security tools and robotic process automation for data entry remain highly useful non-generative forms of AI. Choosing the right technology for each task will be the key to success. As we navigate the AI-driven future, the best strategy will be to embrace generative AI’s potential while keeping sight of the other tools at our disposal. 

Verbit has long been in the AI game, releasing its own in-house proprietary AI back in 2017 and constantly innovating to keep up with technological developments like gen AI. With AI-powered transcription and captioning and other accessibility solutions, we’re bringing state-of-the-art technology to the transcription and captioning business. Reach out to learn how partnering with Verbit can help make your business run more smoothly and efficiently.