The rise of ChatGPT has prompted nearly half (45%) of all businesses to increase their artificial intelligence investments, with customer experience the most common primary focus.
So says a new Gartner study, which quizzed 2,500 business leaders, who it seems are grappling with a host of questions about how to invest wisely, which products to pursue, and how to mitigate the risks that come with this emerging technology.
The study found that 70% of organisations are in investigation and exploration mode with generative AI, while 19% are in pilot or production mode.
Some 68% of executives believe that the benefits of generative AI outweigh the risks; only 5% of respondents felt the risks outweigh the benefits.
Gartner distinguished VP Analyst Frances Karamouzis said: “Generative AI has quickly become one of the hottest areas of investment in the technology sector. Organisations are scrambling to determine how much cash to pour into generative AI solutions, when to get started, and how to mitigate the risks that come with this emerging technology.”
Despite ongoing economic headwinds, only 17% of executives cited cost optimisation as the primary purpose of generative AI investments. Customer experience was the most common primary focus of investments, cited by 38% of respondents.
However, Gartner insists that issues around trust, risk, security, privacy, and ethics must be addressed.
Earlier this week brands were warned to ensure they keep customers on side in their adoption of AI. A Twilio study found that, while four in five (81%) organisations believe AI has the potential to positively impact customer experiences, a disconnect exists between this enthusiasm and the comfort level of consumers.
Only 36% of Europeans are comfortable with companies using AI to personalise their experiences, and under half (49%) trust brands to keep their personal data secure and use it responsibly.
The new research coincides with the launch of a UK Competition & Markets Authority probe into the rise of AI tools such as ChatGPT to determine whether consumers need greater protection.
The CMA said it will assess competition and consumer safety issues for companies using new tools that can produce responses to questions, and write letters or essays – and threaten jobs.
CMA chief executive Sarah Cardell said: “AI has burst into the public consciousness over the past few months but has been on our radar for some time. It’s a technology developing at speed and has the potential to transform the way businesses compete as well as drive substantial economic growth.
“It’s crucial that the potential benefits of this transformative technology are readily accessible to UK businesses and consumers while people remain protected from issues like false or misleading information. Our goal is to help this new, rapidly scaling technology develop in ways that ensure open, competitive markets and effective consumer protection.”
The CMA is seeking views and evidence from stakeholders; the consultation will close on June 2 2023.
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