MIT Technology Review examines leaders’ approach to AI implementation

MIT Technology Review Insights, along with Adobe, EY and Owkin, have released a report titled Generative AI deployment: Strategies for smooth scaling, which details the cautious stance adopted by business executives regarding the integration of generative AI technologies.

In a survey conducted between July and August 2023, MIT Technology Review Insights gathered responses from 1,000 business leaders spanning 11 industries. The report also incorporated perspectives from interviews with academics, data leaders, and AI experts.

Despite the acknowledgment of the transformative potential of generative AI by 96 per cent of the surveyed companies, only nine per cent have fully implemented any generative AI use case within their organizations. This data underscores a sense of caution and a tendency among business leaders to adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ approach before fully embracing these technologies.

Collaborations and partnerships have emerged, with 75 per cent of executives expressing intentions to engage with startups and established tech companies for seamless integration. Only 10 per cent perceived partnerships as a significant challenge.

One noteworthy finding pertained to workforce impact. Despite concerns about widespread job displacement due to AI, only 25 per cent of respondents anticipate generative AI leading to workforce reduction. Concerns about workforce reduction were more prominent in specific industrial sectors such as energy and utilities (43 per cent), manufacturing (34 per cent), and transport and logistics (31 per cent). In contrast, the IT and telecommunications sectors displayed the lowest level of concern, with only seven per cent expecting workforce reduction.

The report also highlighted that the size of a company does not impair its willingness to experiment with generative AI. Small companies, with annual revenues below US$500 million, were found to be three times more likely than mid-sized firms (revenues between US$500 million and US$1 billion) to have deployed a generative AI use case (13 per cent versus four per cent).

Related: Canadian small businesses optimistic about the future

Regulatory uncertainties remain a significant challenge in the generative AI landscape. While legislative efforts are underway to assess associated risks, impactful regulations are expected to progress in alignment with governmental decision-making processes.

Laurel Ruma, global editorial director at MIT Technology Review Insights, emphasized the measured approach businesses are taking. 

“Business leaders are carefully exploring the transformative potential of generative AI, with the majority recognizing its impact on their operations,” she noted. “However, only a fraction have fully embraced generative AI use cases, indicating a cautious implementation strategy. Workforce implications vary across sectors, and amidst regulatory uncertainties, businesses are proceeding with careful consideration.”

The full report can be found here.

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Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr is a recent journalism graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University. She loves writing about all things data, travel, tech, lifestyle and subculture. You can reach out to Breanna via [email protected].

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