In today's digital age, where technology morphs at lightning speed, businesses worldwide face a new conundrum: the rapid rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI). This cutting-edge tool, hailed by many as a game-changer, also stirs trepidation in corporate corridors.
Some companies dive headfirst, harnessing the power of AI to boost productivity, while others hang back, fearing potential pitfalls.
To Embrace or Ban: The Corporate AI Dilemma
While the allure of generative AI is undeniable, many companies are treading cautiously.
Concerns about data privacy and security top the list of apprehensions. Mark McCreary, the co-chair of the privacy and data security practice at Fox Rothschild LLP, voiced his reservations to CNN, noting that when users input information, “[y]ou don’t know how it’s then going to be used”.
He added, “I think the opportunity for company trade secrets to get dropped into these different various AI’s is just going to increase”. This caution has prompted some firms to enact internal bans on generative AI, at least until they can fully fathom its implications.
Renowned corporations such as Northrop Grumman and Verizon have expressed hesitancy in employing external AI platforms, with the latter specifically citing security risks linked to ChatGPT. However, this corporate reluctance might be fleeting.
According to Jonathan Gillham, CEO of Originality.AI, companies banning generative AI today often house internal teams exploring its responsible application. Gillham emphasizes the need for a controlled approach, stating that giving unfettered access to AI tools like ChatGPT could pose "too much of an uncontrolled risk." Yet, he sees massive potential in unlocking efficiency gains in sectors like legal, finance, and accounting.
AI: A Tsunami in the Making
While the debate rages on, some voices in the industry urge swift adaptation. Nicholas Carlson, Insider editor-in-chief, is one such proponent. In a bold proclamation in April, he remarked, “A tsunami is coming.
We can either ride it or get wiped out by it. But it’s going to be really fun to ride it, and it’s going to make us faster and better”. Financial behemoth JPMorgan Chase epitomizes the cautious optimist's stance.
Larry Feinsmith, JPM's head of global tech strategy, innovation, and partnerships, acknowledged their enthusiasm for generative AI at the Databricks Data + AI Summit. However, he emphasized their commitment to a responsible rollout, saying, “We’re excited, we’re working through those risks as we speak, but we won’t roll it out until we can do this in an entirely responsible manner, and it’s going to take time”.