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AI Interest Picks Up Among CEOs As Use-Cases Grow

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New poll finds CEO interest in AI capabilities on the rise, as the tech’s sophistication and business use cases grow—despite lingering concerns.

Less than a year ago, OpenAI’s ChatGPT was introduced to the public—with mixed reviews from the business community. When we polled CEOs on the technology in February, only 23 percent were considering using the bot or other AI tools to augment productivity or mitigate labor costs.

Skip ahead eight months and AI use within businesses has become mainstream, as CEOs report finding new, more reliable use cases for their organizations.

AI developments have become a feature of today’s news cycle—and contemporary culture—but Chief Executive’s latest poll of 240 U.S. CEOs, conducted the first week of October, shows the technology has gained considerable ground among CEOs, thanks to its growing business capabilities.

The majority of CEOs polled (53 percent) said they are finding business use out of the new capabilities of generative AI—a whopping 130 percent increase from those who were considering using AI just eight months prior.

Yet, despite the rise in interest, the response is not necessarily overwhelming; 53 percent is a slim majority. The problem, CEOs say, is that most remain weary of bugs and privacy concerns.

Of course, in its current form, generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT and others are not applicable to all occupations in all industries, and the data from the survey shows this sector variance.

For example, CEOs in industries like construction and consumer manufacturing are still struggling to identify effective ways to use AI, believing it is still in its formative stages, with only 44 percent and 28 percent of CEOs finding uses out of the capabilities.

“AI creates too much of a vulnerability due to its immaturity and bugs,” says Tom M. Conley, president and CEO of The Conley Group.

However, CEOs in industries like advertising, marketing, media and PR, tech and professional services all have the highest rates of positive responses when asked if they are finding business use out of generative AI. In advertising/marketing/PR, an impressive 72 percent of CEOs said they are finding such use.

Jon Budington, CEO of advertising company Mythos says, “As our business is primarily focused on delivering content, we see generative AI as a growth opportunity for our clients.”

“It’s a great time to strategically plan and test AI in multiple areas of business,” agreed Kathy Mast, president and CEO of Nuevonow, a professional services firm. “Writing/editing, sales and business analysis, sales opportunities, strategic connections, operations. It’s important to align AI activities with company values, strategy and innovation goals.”

Many other CEOs cited routine communications and drafting copy as ways they are using generative AI to save time and create new efficiencies within the business.

Perhaps it’s no surprise then that of those who are finding uses out of AI, 51 percent find it most useful to the marketing function of business, followed by operations/back-office at 33 percent.

AI holds many promises for business—across nearly all functional areas of the organization—and companies are wise to stay abreast of developments with the technology.

For that reason, Chief Executive is rebooting its AI360 Academy starting in November. The Academy is a series of four bootcamp-style workshops that cover Sales, HR, Marketing and Finance, during which renowned experts present real-life cases and engage in discussions on how companies, across all industries, can tap into the power of AI—and what that means for the future.

We hope you have a chance to join us in this discussion. Find out more and register to attend virtually


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