Bosses told to invest now or miss out on tech revolution

tech 2As the debate rages over the regulation of artificial intelligence, business leaders are being urged to make significant investments in data and people – as well as customising AI foundation models – to ensure they do not get left behind in the tech revolution.

So says new research from Accenture, which finds that generative AI and other rapidly evolving technologies are ushering in a bold new future for business as physical and digital worlds become inextricably linked.

The Accenture Technology Vision 2023, “When Atoms Meet Bits: The Foundations of Our New Reality,” explores the technology trends underpinning the convergence of the physical and digital, as businesses look to accelerate enterprise reinvention in the here and now.

The findings are based on input from an external advisory board of more than two dozen practitioners. spanning public and private sector, academia, venture capital and entrepreneurial companies. In parallel, Accenture Research conducted a global survey of 4,777 C-level executives and directors across 34 countries and 25 industries.

Accenture Technology group chief executive Paul Daugherty said: “The next decade will be defined by three mega technology trends – the cloud, the metaverse and AI – which collectively will collapse the distance of our digital and physical worlds.

“While generative AI will have far-reaching impact, leaders must dive in now to achieve its full promise, as it will require significant investments in data, people, and customizing foundation models to meet organisations’ unique needs.”

The meteoric rise of ChatGPT has captivated the world’s attention on the power of generative AI to augment human capability, although some experts claim it has triggered a dangerous AI arms race.

Even so, Accenture estimates as much as 40% of all working hours will be supported or augmented by language-based AI. Among business leaders, 98% of respondents agree AI foundation models will play an important role in their organisation’s strategies over the next three to five years.

Accenture’s Technology Vision 2023 identifies four trends that are key to unlocking this new shared reality:

Generative AI: Advancing human capability as a co-pilot, creative partner or advisor, nearly all executives agree that generative AI will spark significant creativity and innovation (98%) and usher in a new era of enterprise intelligence (95%).

Digital identity: The ability to authenticate digital users and assets – the foundation for traversing digital and physical worlds – is now seen by 85% of executives as a strategic business imperative, not just a technical issue.

My data, your data, our data: AI cannot reach its full potential until companies figure out data. That means breaking down data silos and modernising their data foundations. In fact, 90% of executives believe data is becoming a key competitive differentiator within organisations and across industries.

Our forever frontier: Feedback loop between science and technology is getting faster, with each accelerating the advancement of the other, in ways that 75% of respondents believe could begin to unlock the world’s grand challenges.

In response to the findings, HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah said: “Generative AI is already transforming all sorts of jobs, including sales and marketing. As for workers, it is true that automation can displace jobs, but it is also important to note that ChatGPT can create new job opportunities too – all while making existing roles more efficient and less repetitive.

“Ultimately, as with all new innovations, organisations need to adapt and be willing to learn if they are to keep up.”

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