The AI Pecking Order: China Leads In Company Spending, U.S. Is Further Down

Most U.S. companies plan to invest more in generative artificial intelligence (AI) over the next 12 months. But the U.S. lags behind China and several other countries, according to The State of Generative AI in Global Business, a new study by Lucidworks. 

Virtually all companies surveyed in China are increasing their generative AI spend, as are 98% of those in India and 96% of firms in Australia. 

And while 92% of U.S. firms plan to budget more, the country is outshone by France (95%) and the U.K. (94%). 

By industry, the leaders are Entertainment and Media and Consumer Products and Technology, all three showing that 96% of firms are spending more on generative AI.  

It is not clear how much of this money will be filtering down to email marketing teams. Writers and creatives in every field are concerned about the effect of generative AI on job security, and that fear is cited by firms that are not increasing their generative AI spend. 



By function, those that are prioritizing generative AI spending are: 

  • Technology or Data Science — 96% 
  • Finance or Accounting — 94% 
  • Research or Product Development — 93% 
  • Marketing or Merchandising — 92% 
  • Transportation or Logistics — 91% 
  • Sales or Service — 89% 
  • Operations or Supply Chain — 88% 
  • Human Resources — 88% 
  • Legal or Other Admin — 86%

What the study does show is that the field needs benchmarks and a clear set of best practices.

To date, this varies by industry, with Technology reporting 10.7 best practices compared with 7.7 for retail and 6.9 for Entertainment and Media. The overall average is 7.5. 

Of the companies studied, 60% are deemed AI challengers, while 10% are trailblazers, 14% are leaders and 16% are rookies. The average number of initiatives for each group is as follows:

  • Trailblazers — 15.5
  • Leaders — 9.3
  • Challengers — 6.4 
  • Rookies — 4

The leading concerns among firms that are not posting spending increases are security, transparency, accuracy, response issues and job displacement.  

Lucidworks surveyed 6,000 participants from companies with 100 or more employees. 

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