Using AI is already changing how many bosses are working

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Four in five (79%) senior business leaders are now deploying – or will deploy – AI tools in order to remain competitive and enhance customer experience, new research has claimed.

An IBM study of more than 1,600 senior business execs across six European countries has uncovered how work for many companies’ top execs has changed since the introduction of new generative AI solutions.

An overwhelming majority (93%) now believe that Generative AI can facilitate better leadership decisions, with even company board members backing the technology.

As well as wanting to improve customer experiences, bosses said that AI can help them to improve operational efficiency and boost sales and revenue.

IBM UK and Ireland CEO Dr Nicola Hodson said: “Heralded as a transformative tool to drive insights, reduce costs, and improve operational efficiencies, it is not surprising that business leaders are acting swiftly to embrace generative AI tools… This latest research shows a real sense of opportunity in boardrooms across Europe.”

Artificial intelligence doesn’t come without its challenges, though, and almost two in five (38%) of UK respondents expressed their concern over privacy and surveillance in their journey to deploying responsible AI. Higher than this, though, were the costs involved with deploying AI, and the pressure to hire specialist talent from an already depleted pool of talent amid a global skills shortage.

Only three in five (61%) said that their existing workforce has the right skills to adopt generative AI, which leaves almost all (93%) of the leaders now facing the next steps to ensure they have the right skills in their businesses.

Hodson added: “Taking the right approach to leadership in this new era will be vital for success and will have far-reaching benefits – on business value, people, and society on a whole.”

Clearly, artificial intelligence isn’t a plug-and-play solution that is guaranteed to deliver results to all at the same rate.

Looking ahead, IBM recommends four key principles for a responsible AI strategy: prioritize the value creation potential of AI rather than relying on outsourcing to third parties; be prepared to mix open-source, private, and proprietary models; build with open, hybrid cloud technologies to maximize cost, performance, and latency optimization; and be accountable.

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