The potential threat of generative artificial intelligence (AI) causing malfeasance, including spreading misinformation or causing bias, doesn’t appear to deter most companies, particularly telco firms, from embracing its perceived benefits. A recent Capgemini survey revealed that 69% of operators view the rewards of utilising generative AI as outweighing any potential risks.

This percentage is reassuringly below the survey’s average score of 74%. Interestingly, 84% of high-tech companies, probably the firms spearheading AI development, prefer to persist with generative AI despite potential drawbacks. Alarmingly, 82% of aerospace and defence organisations share this sentiment, which is concerning considering they should be most cautious when replacing human intelligence with AI.

Governments, cognizant of concerns surrounding AI’s potentially disruptive side, are increasingly implementing regulations to manage it effectively. For instance, US President Joe Biden recently offered a preview of insights from meetings with AI experts, which will guide his administration’s handling of AI-related risks. Meanwhile, the EU, slightly ahead in addressing these concerns, cast its first vote on its proposed AI act, aimed at imposing various regulations on AI-centric companies.

The Capgemini survey also highlighted several intriguing notions on approaching AI prudently. Most notably, 69% of participants anticipate AI will trigger the emergence of new corporate roles like AI auditors or ethicists. Simultaneously, 68% concede the integration of AI into the workforce will necessitate a significant investment in improving and diversifying staff skills.

Regarding potential benefits, respondents reached a broad consensus. The majority, 83%, reckoned chatbots for customer service automation and enhancing knowledge management would be the most relevant AI-based tools. Other benefits include designing, collecting, or summarising data (75%), making product design more efficient (78%), and enhancing customer experiences through interactive and engaging elements (71%).

There is also a widespread consensus on the potential environmental footprint of running compute-intensive AI processes. The survey found that 78% of firms understand that generative AI could possess a larger carbon footprint than traditional IT programmes. As a result, nearly 80% comprehend the importance of implementing and scaling it sustainably. Although only 8% of surveyed organizations intend to train their own AI model, nearly half of them have taken measures to reduce the environmental impact.

“Generative AI is a transformational force for innovation in organisations, accelerating industry specific use cases to create value, and it’s no surprise that it’s already at the top of the agenda of virtually every large organisation,” commented Franck Greverie, Chief Portfolio Officer and Group Executive Board Member at Capgemini. Emphasizing the importance of human-centric approach, Greverie added, “As businesses accelerate their generative AI journeys, they must prioritise implementing it sustainably across the organisation.”