New Deloitte report: Digital natives leading Generative AI adoption in developing Asia Pacific economies, take up rates 30% higher than developed economies

Hong Kong, 14 May 2024 - A new report released by Deloitte Insights Generative AI in Asia Pacific: Young employees lead as employers play catch-up highlights the role of tech-savvy, younger employees, known as ‘Generation AI’, in driving Generative AI (gen AI) adoption, presenting new challenges and opportunities for employers as they adapt to these changes. Emphasising the need for employers and policymakers to adapt to this rapidly evolving technology, the report which surveyed1 11,900 individuals in Asia Pacific reveals that 'Generation AI' are leading the way in saved work hours, new skill development opportunities, more sustainable workloads, and increased productivity.

1 In February and March 2024, Deloitte Access Economics surveyed 2,903 university students and 9,042 employees across thirteen locations: Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan (China), South Korea, New Zealand and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam).


Key findings from the report:

  • Generation AI leads the way: Students and employees are leading the gen AI revolution across Asia Pacific, but only half believe their manager knows they are using it
  • Significant impact: Gen AI could significantly impact 16% of working hours – over 11 billion work hours across Asia Pacific are expected to be impacted by gen AI each week
  • Traditional technology hierarchy: This may be disrupted with take up rates of gen AI in developing countries 30% higher compared to developed economies across Asia Pacific
  • Talent benefits: Gen AI users save approximately a day per week (6.3 hours), enabling employees to allocate time to acquire new skills
  • Saves time: Gen AI can support more sustainable workloads and productivity with 41% of time savers believing this has improved their work-life balance
  • Managing risks: Nearly three quarters of businesses are falling behind on gen AI adoption, according to their own employees

Commenting on the report Deloitte Asia Pacific’s AI & Data Capability Leader Chris Lewin said, “One of the most exciting aspects of working with gen AI is that across the globe it is happening to everything, everywhere, all at once. What we’ve experienced in the last twelve months is that the challenges faced by our clients in Indonesia or India are almost immediately relevant to teams in Italy and Ireland. One key lesson is that the rapid adoption of AI won’t directly eliminate jobs, but the impact will be felt by businesses that fail to adapt. Their employees and in particular, talent new to the workforce, will be drawn to rival businesses offering AI applications that are capable of redrawing the future of modern work.”


A Big Bang, Short Fuse Scenario

To further unpack the impact of gen AI on the Asia Pacific region, Deloitte Access Economics mapped 18 industries in terms of the extent of gen AI’s impact—the “bang”—and how soon those industries will be affected—the length of the “fuse”. It is estimated USD$5 trillion of economy activity within industries will face a short, fuse big bang scenario.

The four industries impacted are finance, ICT and media, professional services, and education which account for an average of one-fifth of the economies of each market in Asia Pacific. This share is expected to grow as some of the markets increasingly shift towards service industries like professional services, finance and ICT that face higher impact. These industries are also where over 40% of students who are using gen AI plan to start their careers, further accelerating the pace of transformation.


Three key actions for businesses to adopt

The rise of gen AI means that business leaders and employees both need to think strategically and act proactively to respond to the rapidly changing environment. Based on the analysis of the report findings, businesses are urged to take the following high-impact actions:

  1. Develop and implement a gen AI strategy that brings your employees on the journey
  2. Empower your employees to own their AI journey
  3. Develop your data infrastructure iteratively as needed to embrace gen AI

“Rather than just making current tasks more efficient, CEOs and senior leaders need to use the new technologies to completely rethink their company’s processes and business models. Restructuring work to enable the use of gen AI can make for happier employees and customers while also improving profitability,” added Deloitte Asia Pacific’s Consulting Business Leader Rob Hillard.


To access the full report and learn more about the findings, please visit

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