fiction

AI and the impact on qualitative research

That’s a big question, to which there are few definitive answers. We decided to put it to the test and find out. Our findings might surprise you…

Here is the executive summary from our thought leadership report (Risks, Rewards and the Human Factor – An Experiment in Generative AI and the Art of Qual Research):

  • Will researchers lose jobs to AI – or will clients abandon them to research directly using ever-smarter tools? Concerns like this are stressing many in the research world.
  • Instead of joining in the speculative debate, we joined up in March 2023 with our trusted tech partner Qualzy because we know they share our curiosity and enthusiasm about AI.
  • We designed a two-week pop-up community experiment to test the AI experiences of research participants and explore a topic of interest to our client Mitchells & Butlers.
  • Some received follow-up questions fielded by AI. Others, from a human. While another group received AI-generated questions that a human moderator had refined and edited.
  • The results were fascinating. They validated our firm belief that human professionals will remain relevant in qualitative research yet revealed more acceptance than we expected.
  • We know that the art and expertise of professional researchers lie in building real relationships with real people, on which good qualitative research will always rely.
  • Yet, to reach our future, we must face the risks positively and recognise all the opportunities AI offers – because if we do it wrong, it won’t do us any favours at all…
  • Mustard is ‘all in’ – this experiment is just the start. We are actively testing and trialling just what AI could do for us, and to make a difference for our clients.

If you would like to download the full thought leadership report (Risks, Rewards and the Human Factor – An Experiment in Generative AI and the Art of Qual Research), please click here

You can also read Qualzy’s perspective in their companion article: The Inexorable and Inevitable Impact of AI on Qualitative Research

Written by Anthony Shepard-Williams
Posted on 29th Jun, 2023