Here’s what SA business use ChatGPT for

office worker south africa retrain

In a compelling survey on the use of generative AI in Africa and the Middle East, we spot the looming threats that are pleasantly met by sterling opportunities for the continent.

A significant number of people are comfortable sharing their personal information with generative AI tools like ChatGPT, a recent survey conducted by KnowBe4 Africa found.

The survey, which spanned 1,300 respondents in ten African and Middle Eastern countries, revealed that 63% of users are open to sharing their personal information, while an impressive 83% expressed confidence in the accuracy and reliability of these AI tools.

“While the results clearly show that generative AI tools are widely used, they also highlight the need for increased user training and awareness regarding the potential risks associated with this powerful new technology,” says Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy and Evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa.

“The adoption of genAI offers tremendous opportunities for African users and organizations but we also need to consider the associated risks,” she added.

“Our survey – which runs across users owning smartphones in 10 African countries – indicates that all respondents are using generative AI in their personal and professional lives, with many using it on a daily or weekly basis.”

The survey carried out across South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, revealed that almost two-thirds of users are at ease sharing their personal information with generative AI tools such as ChatGPT.

The comfort level in sharing sensitive data varied across countries. For example, in South Africa, only 54% of users were comfortable sharing their personal information with generative AI tools, while in the UAE it was 67%, and in Nigeria, it was 75%.

A concerning finding was the lack of comprehensive policies in organizations to address the challenges associated with generative AI.

About half of the survey respondents reported having no generative AI policy at work while 8% stated that they were prohibited from using AI.

“Employees are already using generative AI, so attempting to ban it is futile. Instead, it is crucial to establish policies that protect both organizations and their employees, ensuring responsible and safe usage,” Collard maintains.

The survey highlighted that:

  • 26% of respondents use it daily
  • 42% use it several times a week
  • 25% use it occasionally

What is being used for:

  • 67% use it for research and information gathering
  • 52% use it for writing emails
  • 47% use it to generate creative content
  • 45 % use it to draft emails and reports


  • 80% say it saves time
  • 70% say it provides assistance with complex tasks
  • 63% say it improves productivity
  • 59% say it enhances creativity

Also read: Once upon a time in the future, my near collision with a robot waiter



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