AWS Study Finds Increasing Focus on Responsible AI

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala, Author at eWEEK.

An AWS study finds that attitudes are changing toward responsible AI usage. Find out what the study reveals and what it means for the future.

A recent survey conducted by AWS and Morning Consult reveals a significant shift in business attitudes and plans toward responsible artificial intelligence for the upcoming year.

A key finding from the survey’s many results: a remarkable 77 percent of the respondents acknowledge the importance of responsible AI, with younger leaders—aged 18 to 44—showing a higher familiarity with the concept of responsible AI compared to their older counterparts.

The survey was highlighted at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent event, held recently in Las Vegas. As one would expect, artificial intelligence was one of the show’s key themes.

Responsible AI In Its Infancy

The survey reflected quickly changing attitudes after a busy year for artificial intelligence. The launch of ChatGPT created an awareness of AI, particularly generative AI, which is unprecedented in technology. A little over a year ago, only tech professionals talked about AI, but now everyone is looking at how AI can change their lives.

Despite this growing awareness, the implementation of responsible AI strategies is still in its infancy. Only a quarter of the leaders surveyed have begun to develop a strategy for responsible AI, and most companies need a dedicated team.

However, the future looks promising as many businesses (47 percent) plan to increase their investment in responsible AI in 2024, while few (10 percent) plan to invest less. This is driven partly by the directives from their boards.

Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) expect their boards to ask for a responsible AI plan in 2024. When it comes to training employees in responsible AI, opinions are evenly divided, with some favoring it (39 percent) and some not (39 percent).

Businesses Understand the Value of AI

The majority of businesses (75 percent) recognize the tangible benefits of AI, such as increased revenue (30 percent), improved creativity and innovation (27 percent), and higher employee productivity (19 percent).

Another interesting finding is that the overwhelming majority of organizations (92 percent) plan to use AI-powered solutions by 2028. Leaders are aware of the financial risks of not using AI responsibly. Over one-third (35 percent) believe that irresponsible AI use could cost their company at least $1 million or otherwise endanger their business. Only a small group of respondents (17 percent) think there would be no financial cost for using AI irresponsibly.

Finally, the survey underscores a shared responsibility for developing responsible AI. A portion of the respondents (29 percent) view vendors who build AI services for businesses as the primary bearers of this responsibility. In comparison, a roughly equal amount (27 percent) believe that the obligation falls on businesses themselves, particularly those using AI to develop new apps and use cases.

Bottom Line: The Rise of Responsible AI

The survey findings paint a picture of a business world increasingly conscious of the ethical implications of AI. As we move into 2024, the commitment to responsible AI seems to be deepening, where education, strategic planning, and a collective effort in navigating the challenges of AI technologies will play a crucial role.

At the end of his re:Invent keynote, AWS CEO, Adam Selipsky talked about how AI will change the world and urged everyone to go out and re-invent their businesses. This is a great call to action but, as the survey data shows, companies need to do this responsibly to ensure their use of AI is fair, inclusive and secure.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.