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The AI reality in 2024: New research affirms gaping holes in AI knowledge, training and policies—but 7 in 10 staffers are using it

by | May 15, 2024 | Public Relations

It’s been more than 18 months since Generative AI appeared, and within weeks it became a business priority. Sure, it’s been a remarkable tool for productivity, automation and generating content, but it’s also been a major threat to cybersecurity, escalating the frequency and sophistication of breaches, hacks and scams—and despite all this power, the tech remains largely unregulated and many employees who use it remain untrained. Why are businesses OK with taking these reckless risks?

According to a new poll from digital trust community ISACA of 3,270 digital trust professionals, only 15 percent of organizations have AI policies, and 40 percent of organizations offer no AI training at all—a concerning matter given that 70 percent of respondents say staff are using AI, and 60 percent say employees are using generative AI.

AI reality

The poll showed the most common uses of AI are:

  • Increasing productivity (35 percent)
  • Automating repetitive tasks (33 percent)
  • Creating written content (33 percent)

A full 60 percent of respondents are worried or very worried that bad actors will exploit generative AI, with 81 percent saying the top AI risk is misinformation/disinformation. Yet only 35 percent say AI risks are an immediate priority for their organization.

Respondents believe jobs will be significantly impacted by AI, with 45 percent saying many jobs will be eliminated over the next five years and 80 percent saying many jobs will be modified. Yet digital trust professionals—those who work in fields such as information security, governance, risk and privacy—are more optimistic about their own jobs. Seventy-eight percent say AI will have a neutral or positive impact on their careers.

To achieve that neutral or positive impact and retain or advance their careers, 85 percent say they will need to increase their AI skills and knowledge within two years.

AI reality

“AI is moving at a speed we haven’t seen before, with its use in organizations outpacing the policies, training and skills that are absolutely critical for making sure it is used securely,” said Shannon Donahue, ISACA chief content and publishing officer, in a news release. “AI is quickly becoming a business imperative, and ISACA is fully committed to providing the tools, resources and training to help individuals and enterprises thrive in an AI world.”

AI reality

ISACA is addressing this knowledge gap by releasing a series of on-demand AI training, with three newly launched courses.

Read the firm’s white paper here.

ISACA’s AI Pulse Poll was conducted online from 7-22 March 2024. The poll received 3,270 completed responses globally. The margin of error is +/- 2 percent at the 95% confidence level.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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