A recent poll released Monday by Top 10 firm Grant Thornton found that chief financial officers are increasingly turning to AI as part of their overall plans for technology upgrades. In just the past three months since the last quarterly survey, the percentage of CFOs who said their organizations are using generative AI grew to 43% from 30%. The proportion who said they’re not using generative AI and don’t plan to use it in the near future fell to 8% from 15%. At the same time, 45% said they’re currently exploring use cases. The report noted that this means 88% are either already using the technology or actively trying to find ways to do so. A majority, 57%, also have formal training in place on the use of generative AI, up from 49% in Q2. The survey found that 30% said they are already using AI in their finance processes, and an additional 40% plan to implement AI in this area in the next year.
“AI’s popularity is growing quickly,” said Paul Melville, national managing principal for CFO advisory, in the report. “It’s on the news every day of the week. You can’t pick up a newspaper without seeing an article about AI. Now that CFOs are more comfortable with the supply chain and workforce issues than they were six or nine months ago, they’re looking at how they can drive the business. And they’re focusing on tech upgrades to deliver ROI.”
This is part of an increasing technology investment in finance departments overall. The Grant Thornton survey found that 58% of finance leaders expect to increase their spending on IT and digital transformation, the highest percentage since Q1 2021, when it was 60%. Alongside AI, CFOs also intend to implement distributed ledger technology, optical character recognition, machine learning and robotic process automation. The poll found finance leaders are optimistic about these investments, as 70% of CFOs believe their departments will have implemented these technologies within two years.
This rapid adoption of AI technology in the finance department mirrors what seems to be happening on the consumer level, as a recent survey from KPMG shows a large proportion of U.S. consumers have taken well to generative AI and view it as at least somewhat useful to their lives.
KPMG found that 28% of consumers view generative AI as somewhat useful, 19% as very useful, and 5% as indispensable. Combined, this makes up more than half of consumers. The survey found this varies by age group, with Gen Z (61%) and millennials (56%) leading the way. Meanwhile, the survey also found that 15% of consumers plan to use generative AI next year than they do today.
“While artificial intelligence has long been an integral part of people’s daily lives, whether they realized it or not, I’m not sure how many consumers could have told you what generative AI was a year ago,” said KPMG global and U.S. technology, media and telecommunications leader Mark Gibson. “The pace at which consumers have adopted generative AI has been unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed, with the most beneficial uses evolving daily.”
The KPMG survey also found that when it came to AI-generated media content — a key sticking point in recent entertainment industry strikes — 42% of consumers indicated they do not want to consume content created by AI versus 23% of consumers who indicated an openness to consuming content created by AI. Meanwhile, 35% of respondents were neutral on the idea. Younger generations were slightly more open to consuming content produced by AI.