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PwC survey: CEOs see increased role of GenAI in next 3 years

  • Nearly 70% think Gen AI will necessitate development of new skills for workers' survival
Published February 7, 2024

Workers must improve their skills to remain relevant as generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) is set to play a bigger role in the corporate world in the next three years, revealed the recently-published 27th Annual Global CEO Survey – Pakistan titled At the Crossroads – Opportunities and challenges in the age of disruption.

PwC, one of the Big Four accounting firms, received 4,702 completed surveys from CEOs globally, representing responses from 105 countries and territories, further emphasising the global reach and impact of the survey.

In Pakistan, the survey saw the participation of 62 CEOs across 16 industries. A total of 47 publicly-listed entities were a part of it, while over 50% companies had an annual revenue of $100 million-plus.

PwC survey: 42% of Pakistani CEOs see business model unviable in less than a decade

Of these responding Pakistani CEOs, 3% were female and 97% male. Their responses were recorded by 10 November 2023.

A clear majority – 69% of CEOs – agreed that generative AI will necessitate the development of new skills across their workforce looking at the next three years. However, 61% of them feel that generative AI has not been adopted in their companies in the last twelve months.

Most of them – 68% of CEOs – believe generative AI will profoundly transform the way their companies create, deliver and capture value in the next three years.

With respect to potential risks, more than half (63%) of CEOs believed that generative AI could escalate cybersecurity threats such as phishing attacks and data breaches within the forthcoming year.

Majority of the CEOs (58%) expect efficiencies to increase in their own time due to generative AI in the upcoming year. Almost the same number of CEOs (57%) GenAI also think the same for their employees’ time.

Most of these respondents expect a slight increase (i.e., 5% to 15%) in overall efficiency due to GenAI in the forthcoming year.

Majority CEOs somewhat optimistic over Pakistan’s economic growth in coming 12 months

CEOs also believe that generative AI will result in little to no change in their company’s headcount (58%) and revenue (55%).

When it comes to the effect of GenAI on profitability, 52% of the responding CEOs expect a slight variation (little to no change, within the range of 5% decrease to a 5% increase).

Semih Kumluk, who is a Digital Training Senior Manager at PwC’s Academy, in an interview to Business Recorder last year said Pakistan must come out of its hangover of availability of cheap labour in the country and start leveraging technology.

Kumluk, who designs, develops and delivers custom-designed upskilling programmes in all digital topics, also mentioned a PwC report, which stated that AI could contribute $15.7 trillion by 2030 to the world economy – more than the current output of India and China combined.

“AI will increase productivity and definitely some people will lose jobs if they resist change. However, there will be more jobs created and those will remain employed who upskill their professional abilities,” said Kumluk then.

“The youth need to be directed towards technology. If they pick AI as their career, it may also increase their income, and they can contribute more to the economy in their entire lifetime” he added.

He said that embracing technology, including AI was the way forward for everyone including Pakistan.

Kumluk, who is Turkish by origin, said one of the reasons for the downfall of the Ottoman Empire was that it did not embrace new technologies.

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