CEOs Rank Generative AI as Top Investment Priority Despite Concerns [Chart]

Most CEOs are pouring investment capital into generative AI and anticipate a lot of benefits from the technology, according to a recent KPMG survey. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. CEOs cited generative AI as a top priority for investment, even as they remain uncertain of the economic outlook.

Generative AI Value

Not only do the CEOs expect to reap financial benefits from generative AI, but the survey found that around a fifth of them think it will happen within three years, while 62% are slightly more cautious in pegging the return on investment taking as long as five years. Increased revenues, innovation, and cybersecurity were seen as the top benefits by executives.

That said, the CEOs are wary about the Wild West regulatory and security environment, with 85% viewing generative AI as a cybersecurity issue in some ways. Even on a more mundane level, the survey found 81% have concerns about the lack of industry regulations, as ethical challenges are seen as the most frequent barrier to success. Around three-quarters of the CEOS think the AI oversight should match climate commitments from companies. The results indicate CEOs keenly feel generative AI’s transformative potential along with the profound ethical implications of deploying it. Their elevated ethical sensitivity suggests lessons have been learned from past technological rollouts. As generative AI proliferates in the coming years, policymakers will be pressed to implement effective regulations even as companies aggressively capitalize on opportunities. Whether ethical considerations translate into meaningful restraints remains an open question.

“Strategic adoption in targeted areas can optimize operations, spur innovation and strengthen competitiveness. With proper planning and execution, generative AI can transform how work gets done,” KPMG AI and digital innovation vice chair Steve Chase explained in the report. “CEOs are increasingly aware of the ethical risks and rapidly evolving regulations tied to generative AI, and many are taking proactive steps to address them. A trusted AI program provides a clear road map to navigate the end-to-end AI life cycle with ethical, safe and responsible decision making. With the right governance, policies and controls, organizations can move faster and scale with confidence.”