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Few North American execs worry about AI landing them in hot water

Few North American execs worry about AI landing them in hot water

Research sponsored by a unit of Japanese telco NTT Group finds that some businesses are “vastly underestimating the ethical challenges of” AI, even as their enthusiasm for it grows.

Consulting firm NTT Data Services hired Oxford Economics to survey 1,000 North American executives and non-executives about artificial intelligence deployment, and the results are striking.

This year alone, there have been high-profile incidents involving facial recognition (growing global resistance, stubborn racial bias in algorithms) and deepfakes (cat-and-mouse pattern of attacks, security advances, attacks), according to the report.

Yet survey respondents are blasé. Only 12 percent of executives apparently think algorithms will act unethically in harvesting consumer data. Just 13 percent expect AI to discriminate against minorities.

NTT Data, itself an AI user, judges the technology to be central to the future success of businesses, and most survey takers agree.

Seventy-one percent of executives said employees will be more efficient as AI grows in corporate dominance. Employee accuracy will improve, according to 69 percent. Sixty-one said innovation will grow faster with AI.

Not quite half of executives and non-executives said their companies will lose customers to competitors if their companies ignore or bobble AI deployment.

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