For the past year, Charter has spent a significant amount of time combing through research on generative AI and work. There are two consistent findings that keep showing up, regardless of the design of the study:
- On average, generative AI has a significant positive effect on performance. Whether the task is related to coding, writing, consulting, or law, having access to these tools increases the speed—and, more often than not, the quality—of work.
- Generative AI is an equalizer, helping low performers more than high performers.
A new working paper flips those results on their head. In a five-month-long field experiment with 640 Kenyan entrepreneurs running small- and medium-sized businesses, a team of researchers found that, on average, access to a generative AI mentor had no impact on business performance.