AI dominates online European tech influencer conversations – but have we passed the peak?

The debate and hype around Generative AI and Large Language Models has dominated the Tyto Relevance Index since ChatGPT launched in late November 2022. The Index analyses public social media posts of our Tyto Tech 500 power list of influencers – consisting of almost two thousand individuals objectively ranked as the most influential people working in technology across the UK, France and Germany – and our latest dataset for Q2 2023 hints at what may be the first signs it has reached its peak. 

As the world has grappled with the potential applications, misuse, and regulatory requirements of this technology, it has understandably been front of mind among our cohort of tech influencers. For example, the Index shows that the share of conversation on this topic has risen for each of the last seven months across Europe, coinciding with the launch of ChatGPT. 

However, this trend came to end in June, with its share down 2.8 percentage points from the previous month. It is also the lowest number of posts on the topic since August 2022.  

Despite this, it is still the dominant technology topic of the last quarter by some margin, taking a 39% share of all social posts, with Data economy (13%) and Cybersecurity (9%) the second and third most relevant topics. It even grew by 5.1 percentage points on average compared to the previous quarter. But this will be well worth watching over the next few months – especially in Germany and the UK where posts on the topic dropped by 8.3 pp and 3.5 pp in June, respectively – to see if it was a blip or an indication that the hype is starting to normalise. 

DLT & Blockchain sees huge momentum in Germany 

Distributed Ledger Technology & Blockchain is another topic to monitor closely as it gained significance in June across Europe compared to May, rising from ninth to fourth position in the ranking (+4.4 pp). Interestingly, its rise was driven entirely by the level of conversation in Germany, where it grew by a massive 22.6 percentage points compared to the previous month. In May it was the fourth most popular technology topic in Germany, accounting for 10% of all social posts, but shot up in June to be the second most relevant topic with a 33% share of posts by the European tech influencer community in the country.  

The UK was the only market to see a technology topic increase its relevance every month in the last quarter, with Privacy & data governance growing by 0.6 percentage points on average when compared to the previous quarter. In Germany we of course saw a large rise in DLT & Blockchain in Q2 (+10.5 pp), but we also saw a significant increase in relevancy for GreenTech, which grew by 2.7 pp over the quarter. In France, we saw a notable increase in relevancy for Cloud technology, which grew by 1.3 pp over the quarter.  

Climate change retains socio-economic dominance  

In terms of socio-economic topics, Climate change (18%), Geopolitical conflict & instability (17%) and Transportation (10%) were the three most relevant issues among the European tech influencer community.  

In the UK and Germany, Climate change was the top socio-economic topic for the fourth month in a row and has increased its presence in the online conversation compared to the previous month (+2 pp in the UK and +1.1 pp in Germany). In France, Geopolitical conflict and instability remains by far the most prominent topic with 34% of all social posts. It is also the only country where the top 3 does not coincide with the top 3 at the European level. In France, after Geopolitical conflict and instability and Climate change, the third most relevant topic is Social inequality (9% of social posts). 

While no topics grew in relevance every month over the last quarter, the fastest growing socio-economic topics in the UK were Crypto (+2.1 pp) and Transportation (+1.3 pp). In Germany, Climate change was not only the biggest overall but also the fastest growing topic, rising by 5.5 pp, while in France the fastest growing topic was Geopolitical conflict and instability (+6.3 pp). The second fastest growing topic in both countries was Supply chain, which grew by 0.9 pp in Germany and 0.8 pp in France. Interestingly, supply chain grew by a similar margin in the UK (0.8 pp), suggesting all countries are being affected by the same issues and challenges. On a pan-European level, the online conversation about Supply chain has increased by 0.8 percentage points, rising from tenth to seventh place in the list of socio-economic issues. 

To view the data for yourself, you can access the Tyto Relevance Index here – it’s free to subscribe and you will also receive our monthly newsletter. The Tyto Relevance Index has been running for 9 months now and is proving to be a great tool to take the pulse of the issues and topics that the most influential tech personalities in Europe are talking about. 

Featured photo by Milad.