SINGAPORE — Despite considerable interest and optimism around generative AI, business leaders have yet to effectively articulate their AI plans. This was one of the findings of WE Communications' latest Brands in Motion study, which surveyed 2900 global technology executives across eight markets.

The study, entitled Bridging the AI Expectation Gap, has revealed that 83% of business leaders are optimistic about the benefits AI will bring to their organization while 92% have at least some concerns around the greater adoption of AI in their organization. 37% of business leaders actively talk about AI’s benefits within their organization, but 54% have no current investment in AI training.

Conducted in partnership with Sapio Research, a primary objective of this study was to explore how AI is impacting organizations' culture, trust and business communications.

The findings could mean that there is a growing opportunity for business leaders to turn their AI plans into action — beginning with articulating that vision across both internal and external stakeholders.  

On average, respondents think 39% of job roles and functions may be eliminated in the next two to three years due to AI technology. They also believe human resources and employee engagement will be most negatively impacted by AI (19%), although 21% said none of their departments would be negatively impacted.

The study also shed light on the opportunity for AI to drive significant impact across a range of business functions. The leaders polled identified customer service, marketing and communications, and product development as the top three areas that would benefit most from greater adoption of AI in the workplace.  

“Successful AI initiatives must align with the real-world challenges that an organization has to navigate,” said Tiffany Cook, president of client development at WE Communications. “Having an effective communications plan directly addressing AI in real-world terms will be essential to maximize AI’s business impact.”  

The study has recommended four strategies that can lay the communications foundation for AI initiatives. These range from building an AI employee engagement strategy to modernizing the company’s narrative and messaging to account for how AI is advancing overall transformational journey.  Other recommendations include employing executive communications and thought leadership to spotlight AI progress and updating crisis preparedness plans on potential AI related issues.

The study recommends greater transparency across stakeholders as a cornerstone for AI efforts: 74% of the study’s participants believe their organization should be more or equally transparent about its use of AI compared with their vendors, partner businesses and customers.  

“With today’s business leaders bullish on the benefits of AI, the true leadership challenge is not whether executives will embrace AI but rather how adeptly they’ll bring their organizations, stakeholders and customers along on what promises to be among the world’s most transformative tech innovations,” Cook said.