58% CEOs in India fear ethical challenges in embracing generative AI

As per a KPMG report, globally, 57% CEOs feel that there exist ethical challenges in embracing generative AI


We all know that generative artificial intelligence (AI), driven by neural networks and machine learning (ML), can generate human-like content, including text, images and even code. Debates have been on for a while on whether generative AI — given its ability to transform the nature of work— will displace humans. However, there are even bigger concerns that are preventing senior leaders from embracing the technology says a survey report. Chief executive officers in India are concerned about the ethical issues that may arise if generative AI is adopted in their organisations. They are wary of the risks that come with the use of this technology.

In fact, according to KPMG’s 2023 CEO Outlook Report, 58 per cent of CEOs in India compared to 57 per cent globally, feel that ethical challenges are a hurdle to the adoption of generative AI. About 56 per cent of the CEOs in India feel the cost of implementation will be too high and will discourage implementation. In comparison, globally, 55 per cent CEOs see the cost of implementation as an impediment. Surprisingly, only 45 per cent CEOs in India say that it is the lack of regulations and guidance that poses a challenge. Globally, 50 per cent CEOs feel lack of regulatory guidance is a hurdle in the adoption of generative AI.

In India, 66 per cent of the CEOs surveyed consider generative AI as a top investment priority, while globally, 70 per cent CEOs see it as a top investment priority. About 20 per cent of CEOs in India admit that generative AI yields benefits, including job creation, while 22 per cent CEOs worldwide see increased profitability as the top advantage of embracing this technology.

It is a fact that while generative AI can lead to quick and timely discovery of cyber attacks or security breaches, it can also make systems vulnerable to exploitation by cybercriminals and hackers. Not surprisingly, therefore, about 77 per cent CEOs in India, compared to 82 per cent globally see generative AI as a double-edged sword.

Cyber threats and attacks are growing more sophisticated by the day. This makes organizations feel they aren’t prepared enough to tackle such attacks.

Interestingly, more CEOs in India feel they are prepared for potential cyber attacks. A good 61 per cent of CEOs in India are confident of their organisation’s preparedness for such attacks. Only 52 per cent of their global counterparts admit to such preparedness. While 27 per cent of CEOs, worldwide, say they are underprepared for such attacks, only 25 per cent CEOs in India admit this.

While CEOs do realise that generative AI presents opportunities galore for their business, it also presents ‘unknown’ risks. Therefore, the decisions makers need to adopt a strategic approach to generative AI, which would be most suited to their organisation’s specific needs.

About 42 per cent CEOs in India expect to see a return on investment (RoI) in the implementation of generative AI in less than six months. Globally, 52 per cent of CEOs expect the same.

More CEOs in India (35 per cent) expect RoI in the implementation of generative AI in six months to a year, while globally, 21 per cent CEOs do so.

Since maximum conversations are happening around investing in generative AI, it is crucial for CEOs in India to be cautious about embracing the technology, suggests the report. Indeed, Generative AI should be adopted only after evaluating all the risks associated with the technology so that the reputation and finances of the organisation can be protected.

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