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Generative AI in the Corporate Sphere: A Swing and a Miss?

February 27, 2024

Summary: The Generative AI Conundrum in Business

  • Corporate Hesitation: Despite media buzz, businesses are wary of Generative AI's impact on profitability.
  • BCG Survey Insights: A notable percentage of C-suite executives are dissatisfied with GenAI progress, citing talent shortages and unclear deployment strategies.
  • IP and Legal Concerns: Copyright issues and potential infringements are significant worries.
  • Data Security: Major corporations restrict access to public GenAI tools, fearing data leaks.
  • Adoption Timeline: Many believe it will take years for GenAI to mature in the corporate sector.
  • Pockets of Optimism: Some companies are actively investing in and training their workforce in GenAI.

The Tepid Embrace of Generative AI by the C-Suite

Despite the buzz around Generative AI tools like Midjourney, Runway, and ChatGPT, the corporate world remains unconvinced of their ability to boost bottom lines. Surveys and reports, such as those by Ron Miller, indicate a lukewarm reception among businesses​​.

In a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) poll, a notable 66% of over 1,400 C-suite executives voiced ambivalence or dissatisfaction with their organization's GenAI progress, citing talent shortages and unclear strategies for responsible deployment​​.

Yet, 89% still ranked GenAI as a top-three IT initiative for 2024. However, about half expect significant productivity gains from GenAI, highlighting a gap between perception and expectation​​.

Skepticism and Copyright Concerns

The skepticism extends to copyright issues. GenAI learns from various sources but doesn't always compensate or inform the creators, leading to legal battles. Instances of GenAI models, like DALL-E 3, replicating data have raised concerns about potential copyright infringements​​.

A survey by Acrolinx revealed that a third of Fortune 500 companies worry about intellectual property issues with GenAI. However, vendors like IBM and OpenAI are offering legal protection against copyright litigation, despite the ambiguity in these policies' scope​​.

Data Security and Corporate Restrictions

Data security is a significant concern. Firms like Apple and Bank of America have restricted access to public GenAI tools like ChatGPT, fearing data breaches. OpenAI has clarified its data-collection policies, but it remains to be seen if these assurances will sway enterprise customers​​.

65% of executives in the BCG poll believe it will take at least two years for GenAI to move beyond the hype, emphasizing the need for workforce upskilling and AI regulations​​.

The Bright Side: Embracing GenAI

Despite these challenges, some companies are embracing GenAI. For instance, 21% of those planning to invest over $50 million in GenAI in 2024 have trained a significant portion of their workforce on these tools. Preparations for AI regulations and implementing GenAI guardrails are underway​​.

BCG CEO Christoph Schweizer optimistically states, "This is the year to turn generative AI's promise into tangible business success," highlighting the steep learning curve and the need for experimentation and learning​​.

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