Accenture CEO Reveals Why Many Companies Lag in AI Readiness

Accenture CEO Julie Sweet says that most companies are not ready to roll out artificial intelligence (AI). The statements come after the recent ousting of Sam Altman as CEO of OpenAI over concerns the technology was moving too fast.

Sweet says most companies lack strong data infrastructure or the checks and balances AI needs to be deployed safely. Uncertain macroeconomic conditions and cutbacks on information technology spending have slowed progress out of the experimental phase, she added.

Accenture CEO Says AI is About Data Risk

The CEO observed that while leaders are keen to deploy the technology in their organizations, they are concerned about intellectual property, customer information, and the integrity of AI responses.

“We are still at the stage where most CEOs, asked if there is someone in their organization who can tell them where AI is being used what the risks are and how they’re being mitigated, the answer is still ‘no.’”

However, most are working to close the gap between good intentions and implementing “responsible AI.” She admitted that this strategy does slow down scaling in the interim but says that as a user of third-party technology from OpenAI, Accenture is more concerned about using its models to bring value to customers.

“Whether it’s OpenAI or any other foundational model it’s our job to understand the model, understand the risks, and then help our clients get the value out of the models while managing the risk.”

AI Maturity Per Industry | Source: Accenture

Accenture is expected to cut 19,000 jobs to lower overheads. It bagged $300 million from generative AI projects during the three months ending on Nov. 30, 2023.

Read more: Will AI Replace Humans?

OpenAI Gives Board Veto Powers

Sweet’s statements come even as OpenAI releases a new set of guidelines that gives the board veto powers over AI models it deems dangerous. A new “preparedness” team will monitor new models for severe human or financial threats. The new initiative commences shortly after a board shake-up that ousted CEO Sam Altman and reinstated him within a week.

AI models will be rated from low to high for different anticipated risks. The company will only release models with a rating of low or medium. The new board will be able to override company leadership decisions.

Read more: Best ChatGPT Alternatives You Can Use in 2024

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