Generative AI technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and so is our analysis of it.
KPMG conducted two surveys of US executives to understand their perspectives on generative AI: the first in March 2023 was conducted right in the midst of the inescapable buzz that followed the launch of ChatGPT. As the initial hype receded, we went back to check with business leaders to see how their thinking on generative AI has changed. In June of 2023, we again surveyed 200 US business executives across industries in organizations with $1 billion or more in revenue on their views of generative AI.
The surveys shed light on emerging trends in the use of generative AI in business, including both the opportunities and threats executives believe generative AI has created.
Our March report also offers insights from KPMG advisory professionals in AI, technology enablement, strategy, human capital, and risk management. They looked at managing the challenges and opportunities associated with generative AI, including the human element, the evolving regulatory environment and how to harness AI in a trusted manner, and the implications it has for the workforce. They share thoughts on how you can responsibly integrate generative AI to empower employees, work smarter, and compete better — and what you can do right now to seize the advantage.
Below are some of the latest insights we discovered.
Generative AI continues to be seen as the top emerging technology. When asked in June 2023, 3 in 4 business leaders find it will be a top three emerging technology over the next 12-18 months. When asked in March 2023, 78% selected generative AI as the top emerging technology over the next 3-5 years.
IT/Tech, operations, and marketing and sales are the top functional areas that are anticipated to be impacted the most by generative AI, ranking highest among business leaders in both March and June.
Lack of skilled talent remained a top three barrier to implementing generative AI from March to June.
Prioritization of risk management has increased since March across the board. In both March and June, cybersecurity was the top area of risk management that business leaders are prioritizing. Risk management measures around weaponization (the use of generative AI to manipulate public opinion) has increased; 29% of business leaders ranked this as high priority in March and 56% did in June.
Business leaders remain optimistic about the overall impact of generative AI on their workforce and concerns have decreased. In March, 59% of business leaders reported that they predict generative AI will have a net positive impact on workforce. In June, 53% of business leaders report that their headcount will likely expand.
In both March and June, there were concerns expressed around the employment implications for the workforce broadly. However, June saw a significant decrease in anxiety about companies replacing their current employees with generative AI. Concerns around reduced opportunity for professional development and advancement (41% vs. 26%) and decreased creativity and innovation (30% vs. 16%) have also reduced. Concern around mental health, decreased social interactions, increased unemployment, and creating roles with niches skills remain similar to our earlier findings.
Three in four business leaders (74%) rank generative AI as the top emerging technology that will impact their business over the next year and a half. This is comparable to the results from our earlier survey, where 78% said that generative AI would have the biggest impact on business above all other technologies over the next three to five years.
Respondents were asked to rank their biggest barriers, where 1 is the biggest barrier, 2 is the second biggest, and 3 is third biggest.
Four out of five believe generative AI will disrupt their entire industry; one in five expect it to cause "significant disruption."
Nearly all think that generative AI will provide value to their business.
Infrastructure is a top area prioritized for generative AI investment, especially among those that have already deployed the technology.
anticipate increasing investment in generative AI by 50% or more in the next 6-12 months.
plan on increasing infrastructure (cloud and on-premise servers) and computing power.
plan on using generative AI to create scale in business.
say they will invest in AI training.
While they're concerned about the regulatory landscape, it doesn't appear to be impacting their investments in generative AI.
say the uncertain and evolving regulatory landscape impacts their Generative AI investment decisions, but feel confident about handling the requirements.
say they are not pausing at all, or are taking only a short (3-6 month) pause to monitor the regulatory landscape.
believe that generative AI will have a positive impact on their workforce.
agree to some extent that generative AI will play a role in allowing their organization’s employees to be more thoughtful and creative by relieving them from manual processes.
are confident in their ability to mitigate risks associated with generative AI.
of those that already deployed generative AI are confident in their ability to mitigate risks.
rate privacy concerns with personal data as a top risk.
rate cybersecurity as a top risk.
rate legal, copyright, and intellectual property issues as a top risk.
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Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to open up entirely new avenues for improving the user experience and for creating business advantages. It promises to change the way many people work, from how software is developed to how text is written and summarized. See how we can help you make that promise a reality.
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Shivam Batra, Radhika Goel, Sandeep Sharma and Pratham Singh contributed to the interpretation of the survey results, provided critical feedback, and delivered the survey analysis.