CFO’s Need to Handle Gen AI With Care – and Take a Long-Term View

Harnessing generative artificial intelligence properly is more than just reaching for productivity

“The Fortune Global Forum took place this week in Abu Dhabi and plenty of tongues were wagging about generative AI as a powerful new tool of “productivity.”

That may be, but one technology expert speaking at the conference said landing specifically on productivity is a misguided and limited strategy.

“Ninety percent of the world is focused on productivity. However, the advanced technology can be a tool to “reimagine your business and your industry,” said Alexander Sukharevsky, global leader of McKinsey-owned AI firm QuantumBlack, in an interview with Fortune chief executive officer Alan Murray. “I think this is a very exciting piece that I’m personally passionate about and work with a lot of clients on.”

Don’t Overlook Potential

When senior company executives focus strictly on Gen AI in their workplace strategies, they leave a ton of business capital on the table.

“Although the new kid is generative AI, it’s only one-fourth of the potential of AI,” Sukharevsky told the Forum audience. “There are other technologies that are getting mature now like virtual reality, and Web 3.0 around tokenization, which is the process of converting physical or digital assets into a digital token.”

“If you were to combine these three, (just) think about what it means for your industry… the shift is quite fundamental,” Sukharevsky noted. Yet according to Sukharevsky, only 10% of firms using AI are looking past Gen AI and strategizing for that 74% of untapped potential.

While it’s certainly advisable to leverage Gen AI for the short-term, executives should also use the implementation and management time as a learning experience, Sukharevsky advises.

“You could create a lot of value in a very short term, based on the levers you have today,” he says.
Past all that, the reward for taking on more risk is substantial for the C-suite.

“Similar to what the internet did to distribution, generative AI does to creativity, meaning the marginal cost of producing a movie, a slide, a legal recommendation, goes close to zero at a significantly faster rate,” he notes. “Seventy percent of employees’ tasks today could be automated.”

Sukharevsky says society is at the beginning of a creativity age, because creativity “is based on inspiration, and based on research,” he noted. “If you use generative AI, you could fast-forward the research and unlock the potential of every individual while eliminating some of the routine parts of what we are doing today,” he says. “So if anything, I think it’s good. Close the gap and allow each one of us to be creative [and control] our destiny.”

“I truly believe it’s the first time in the last 15 years that we see a real platform shift,” he added. “A platform shift happens when the cost of production goes down 1,000 times.”

Recent Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *