Generative AI gets a lot of press, from image-generating tools like Midjourney to Runway to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. But businesses aren’t convinced of the tech’s potential to positively affect their bottom lines; at least that’s what surveys (and my colleague Ron Miller’s reporting) suggest.

In a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) poll this month of over 1,400 C-suite executives, 66% said that they were ambivalent about — or outright dissatisfied with — their organization’s progress on GenAI so far, citing a shortage of talent and skills, unclear roadmaps and an absence of strategy around deploying GenAI responsibly.

To be clear, the execs — who hail from such industries as manufacturing, transportation and industrial goods — still see GenAI as a priority. Eighty-nine percent responding to the BCG poll ranked the tech as a “top-three” IT initiative for their companies in 2024. But only about half of the poll’s 1,400 respondents expect GenAI to bring substantial productivity gains (i.e., in the area of 10% or more) to the workforces that they oversee.

The results, taken in tandem with responses to a BCG survey late last year, put into sharp relief the high degree of enterprise skepticism surrounding AI-powered generative tools of any kind. In the survey last year, which canvassed a group of 2,000 exec decision-makers, more than 50% said that they were “discouraging” GenAI adoption over worries it would encourage bad or illegal decision-making and compromise their employer’s data security.

“Bad or illegal decision-making” touches on copyright violations — a hot-button topic in GenAI.


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