72% of CEOs Consider Generative AI a Top Investment Priority: KPMG

All aboard for more AI investments.

Consulting firm KPMG published a new report that highlights how chief executive officers are more excited than ever about AI–all the while acknowledging some key concerns.

An impressive 72% of CEOs surveyed said that investments in generative AI is the top priority for their companies. However, that number highlights a worrying trend for human workers. A majority (57%) of respondents said they are allocating more capital to buying new technology–versus the 43% that is focused on upskilling their employees.

Indicative of the current stage that AI finds itself in, CEOs take longer time horizons when evaluating a return on these investments. KPMG reported that 23% of CEOs expect a positive ROI in 1-3 years, although the number surges to 62% when modeled to 3-5 years.

Executives are not oblivious to the concerns of the AI landscape, however, and highlighted three main apprehensions.

Ethical challenges are the most cited hindrance to successfully implementing generative AI, along with cost and technical skills, wrote KPMG.

In second place, cybersecurity linked to AI was deemed a “double-edged sword,” with 85% of CEOs claiming that AI can help spot malicious attacks while simultaneously offering newer risk surfaces for adversaries. According to KPMG, these numbers “play on perennial doubts that any organization can develop an enduring defense against cyberattacks.”

And last but certainly not least, the lack of regulation around generative AI claimed a spot in the surveyed CEOs minds, with 81% of executives responding that the gap in clear-cut rules and regulations could hamper their companies success. Concurrently, 77% of CEOs said the degree of regulation regarding generative AI should mirror that of climate commitments.

Today’s report only strengthens the signal that AI might be more than a fad, with workplaces and workforces about to get upended.

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