No Fear of AI Here: Survey Reveals Little Worry Among Compliance Pros Over Use of AI

As big business has embraced the promise of artificial intelligence, questions and concerns among professionals, consumers and investors about the potential negative effects of AI have tempered the allure of innovation and improved bottom lines.

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently took notice of those concerns. In January, the agency alerted corporate giants Disney and Apple that it was rejecting their requests to exclude from their annual meetings shareholder votes about the companies’ use of artificial intelligence. One of the shareholder proposals in question, which was filed by a pension trust of the AFL-CIO, requested that Apple provide a transparency report on the use of AI in its business operations and disclose any ethical guidelines involving AI technology. The other asked Disney to detail the role of its board of directors in oversight of the use of AI.

But just how worried are securities compliance professionals about the potential threats of AI? A new Intelligize report provides some surprising answers, discovering few fears about the effects of AI.

The report, titled “Who’s Afraid of Generative AI? An Intelligize Survey on the Use of AI in SEC Compliance,” surveyed compliance specialists from corporations, accounting firms, consultancies and law firms. The objective was to determine whether “conventional attitudes” toward AI – including fears about losing their jobs – are prevalent among their ranks.

Intelligize found that respondents “rejected by wide margins” commonly held fears associated with AI technology. Instead, the professionals surveyed voiced “high levels of comfort with, and optimism about, the use of AI in their jobs.”  That comfort and optimism was apparent at all seniority levels. Respondents expressed “markedly little concern that AI would eliminate their jobs.”

Among the most notable findings, the survey revealed:

  • A high degree of familiarity with generative AI, with more than half of respondents reporting that they had experimented with it in some way.
  • Many respondents use generative AI at work, typically to discover information by asking questions directly or using it as a starting point for research.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents believe that generative AI will improve their jobs by freeing them to do higher-value work.
  • Relatively few respondents expressed a high level of concern about ethical issues associated with the use of AI in the workplace. To the extent that respondents perceived any concerns, privacy issues stood out as the most significant.
  • Regarding bans on the use of AI in the workplace, roughly half said their employers had no policy or didn’t know if there was a policy, and half said they had a partial or total ban.

Overall, the survey results indicate “overwhelming positivity” about AI technology thanks to familiarity with generative AI tools. For the time being, Intelligize concluded, very few professionals in securities compliance are afraid of generative AI. Read the full report here.

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