AI is a ‘top investment priority’ for CEOs: KPMG survey

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Artificial intelligence is a top investment priority for business leaders.

More than two-thirds of US CEOs rank investment in generative AI as a primary priority for their company, according to a new KPMG survey of 400 US chief executives.

“This is not hype,” KPMG US chair Paul Knopp told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “It will be disruptive, and CEOs are paying close attention.”

The AI boom, sparked by OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT late last year, has quickly taken over corporate America. In the last week alone, Amazon (AMZN) announced a $4 billion investment in AI startup Anthropic; Meta (META) began rolling out new generative AI tools for advertisers; and Zoom (ZM) unveiled AI products to compete with tech giants Microsoft (MSFT), which has backed OpenAI, and Google (GOOG, GOOGL).

Goldman Sachs predicts AI investments will accelerate rapidly and amount to around $200 billion globally by 2025. Over the long term, Goldman sees AI-related investments peaking as high as 4% of US GDP.

Jefferies senior analyst Brent Thill recently told Yahoo Finance Live he sees Microsoft, Amazon, and Google as the winners as corporate spending shifts to AI, although he cautioned it’s far from a “zero-sum game.”

Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about AI during the Meta Connect event.

Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about AI during the Meta Connect event in Menlo Park, Calif., on Sept. 27, 2023. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

While excitement around AI is clear, and businesses are making it a top priority, it may take some time for those investments to pay off.

KPMG’s survey found that 62% of CEOs expect to see a return on their AI investments within three to five years, while 23% expect returns in just one to three years.

“AI investments are still at a fairly nascent stage at the moment, and today’s investments are largely around ideation,” Knopp added. “We are going to see increasing use cases of generative AI in many different industries. … It will be disruptive, and you see that reflected in our survey of CEOs.”

Seana Smith is an anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Smith on Twitter @SeanaNSmith. Tips on deals, mergers, activist situations, or anything else? Email [email protected].

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