In a recent Gartner, Inc. poll of more than 2,500 executive leaders, 45% reported that the publicity of ChatGPT has prompted them to increase artificial intelligence (AI) investments. Seventy percent of executives said that their organization is in investigation and exploration mode with generative AI, while 19% are in pilot or production mode.
“The generative AI frenzy shows no signs of abating,” said Frances Karamouzis, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “Organizations are scrambling to determine how much cash to pour into generative AI solutions, which products are worth the investment, when to get started and how to mitigate the risks that come with this emerging technology.”
The poll was conducted among 2,544 respondents as part of a Gartner webinar series in March and April 2023 discussing the enterprise impact of ChatGPT and generative AI. Results of this poll do not represent global findings or the market as a whole.
Executives Say Benefits of Generative AI Outweigh the Risks
The poll found that 68% of executives believe that the benefits of generative AI outweigh the risks, compared with just 5% that feel the risks outweigh the benefits. However, executives may begin to shift their perspective as investments deepen.
“Initial enthusiasm for a new technology can give way to more rigorous analysis of risks and implementation challenges,” said Karamouzis. “Organizations will likely encounter a host of trust, risk, security, privacy and ethical questions as they start to develop and deploy generative AI.”
Customer Experience is the Primary Focus of Generative AI Investments
Despite ongoing economic headwinds, only 17% of executives indicated cost optimization as the primary purpose of generative AI investments. Customer experience was the most common primary focus of investments, cited by 38% of respondents (see Figure 1).
As organizations begin experimenting with generative AI, many are starting with use cases such as media content improvement or code generation. While these efforts can be a strong initial value-add, generative AI has vast potential to support solutions that augment humans or machines and autonomously execute business and IT processes.
“Autonomous business, the next macrophase of technological change, can mitigate the impact of inflation, talent shortages and even economic downturns,” said Karamouzis. “CEOs and CIOs that leverage generative AI to drive transformation through new products and business models will find massive opportunities for revenue growth.”