Artificial intelligence and regulation: driving responsible innovation

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The European Parliament has approved the European Union Artificial Intelligence Law, which represents the first global legal framework on AI to address the risks of this new technology and positions Europe as a world leader in technological regulation. AI offers unprecedented opportunities to the business sector, but it also entails great responsibility. One of our latest studies shows that pressure to use AI responsibly is starting to impact how companies invest in technology; 72% of companies around the world are now approaching investments with more caution, due to social concerns about the responsible use of AI. Europe also presents the highest level of caution, with 77%, compared to 58% in North America. The European Union Artificial Intelligence Law will be the most comprehensive legislation on artificial intelligence that has been seen anywhere in the world until the date, and it not only affects European companies; any global organization developing or deploying artificial intelligence systems within the European Union will have to comply. That's why business leaders need to understand this technology more deeply instead of allowing fear of not using it responsibly to impact investment and innovation. Generative AI is probably the most significant change in work since the agricultural and industrial revolutions, and this means we cannot afford to get trapped in “innovation paralysis.” In short, this is a unique opportunity that organizations must take advantage of. As the laws become clearer, organizations and public administrations will be able to move forward with more confidence and embrace the revolution that this technology is bringing to the market and society. But it is important to note that in this context some industries will be more affected than others. We know that numerous AI systems currently used in sectors such as banking, insurance, healthcare, pharmaceuticals or talent management will be classified as “high risk” under the law. This means that they will be subject to a series of new legal obligations, as well as substantial penalties in the event of non-compliance. For example, insurers will need to review their product access and underwriting processes, and banks will need to adapt their credit scoring and conduct compliance and human rights assessments. On the other hand, uses of AI considered unacceptable by law must be withdrawn at the latest by December, which is when the standard is expected to come into force. Companies should not consider the law just as an obligation, but as an important part of your innovation or reinvention agenda, as every function in every company has the potential to be reinvented with the AI ​​revolution. We estimate that in Europe 44% of working hours in all sectors will be impacted by generative AI, through the automation of tasks and almost unlimited access to synthesized information relevant to the development of functions instantly. significantly increasing the productivity, agility and safety of professionals and workers in all sectors. This figure is, in fact, higher than the world average of 36%. The real value of this transformation lies in the ability of professionals to dedicate more time to creativity and innovation, developing activities in a more agile and secure way. , or the creation of new value-added functions for your organization, increasing productivity and service to your customers, the sustainability of your operations, and, ultimately, improving the competitiveness of organizations. In fact, our study concludes that this positive impact resulting from generative AI would mean an increase in European economic production of 2.3 trillion euros between now and 2038. AI offers unprecedented opportunities to the business sector, governments and public administrations, if it is applied in an ethical, safe, reliable and responsible manner. To date, we have worked on more than 700 generative AI projects with clients, which has allowed us to identify a gap between the theoretical understanding of artificial intelligence and its safe and responsible implementation. Companies must define and implement technologies and operating models that maximize the benefits of AI while ensuring compliance with the new law. The trust of consumers, professionals and business leaders is a key component to continue moving forward on this path. To help guide businesses in building and measuring digital trust, we have collaborated with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to launch their Digital Trust Framework. This framework helps leaders understand how to gain digital confidence by assessing their organization's progress and maturity toward established goals of business reinvention through new digital technologies. Next-generation AI will change work as we know it today , introducing a new dimension of collaboration between people and machines. And, as the generation of leaders entering the age of AI, we must ensure that we are using technology to create development opportunities for our people, while promoting transparency, minimizing unintentional bias and benefiting the market, society and the planet.The leaders who succeed in this new era will be those who understand the opportunities that AI represents as a driver of responsible and purposeful innovation at the heart of their business culture.Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Mercedes Oblanca, president of Accenture in Spain and Portugal. Follow all the Economy and Business information on Facebook and xor in our weekly newsletter

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