The Three Top AI Risks, According to Corporate Financial Officers

Artificial intelligence is getting to be a pretty big deal in the C-suite, but not without some significant reservations from those same executives.

“CEOs embrace AI as a force for good but have significant concerns about unintended ramifications,” says the latest EY CEO Outlook Pulse.

According to the study, 65% “agree or somewhat agree“ that AI is a force for good – driving business efficiency and therefore creating positive outcomes for society, such as innovations in health care treatments,” the report states.

“Yet CEOs are simultaneously concerned about any unintended consequences of AI – reflecting a broader confluence of views in media, society, and contemporary culture where the exciting potential of artificial intelligence is often contrasted with the tropes of dystopian science fiction, EY reports.

The concern over AI’s downside risk runs even deeper among U.S. chief financial officers.

In Deloitte’s most recent CFO Signals report, CFOs overwhelmingly cite three rising risks with the ascension of AI, as follows:
• Impact on risk and internal controls (57% of CFOs surveyed).
• Data infrastructure and technology needs (52%).
• Investment needs and costs, especially on the most critical technology needs (51%).

Governance requirements and ethical issues also make the CFO “most concerned” lists, but they’ll look to curb those concerns about in-house Generative AI implementations in a tried-and-true management fashion – make sure C-suite leaders take ownership of any negative AI-based outcomes.

“59% of CFOs told Deloitte their organization’s chief technology officer, chief information officer, or chief data officer has ownership for GenAI,” Deloitte reports. “According to 30% of CFOs, Generative AI ownership inside the company is dispersed among multiple groups within their organization.”

Another way to mitigate top AI risks is not so much in practice but in execution.

A majority of CFOs plan to deploy regular use cases along with a rigorous series of cost and benefit evaluations to keep a tighter rein on AI practices.

“They also say that a greater understanding of the risks and limitations of Gen AI and more knowledge and information on its potential would be helpful in their AI-based decision making,” Deloitte adds.

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