AI & new technologies discussions

The growth of Artificial intelligence (AI) is associated with a variety of technological changes, such conversational AI-driven voice, ubiquitous sensors, hyper-connectivity of things, virtual reality, and possibly chips embedded in humans. The increasing use of AI and of new technologies is becoming a priority focus for most organisations. This type of activity is prompting hypervigilance, with stakeholders making assessments of both the capability and the character of the organisation when it undertakes this activity. It also seems likely that the more automated we all become, the more human we need to be (and, for organisations, to also be seen to be).

Within this context, the deployment of AI and the adoption of new technologies are becoming important indicators driving social evaluations. Two dimensions emerge as important from discussions with practitioners. First, perceptions on the ability of the organisation to deliver what it intends to deliver when it comes to this type of innovation (capability); and second, perceptions around the intent of the organisation (character). Further research insight into these two dimensions of reputation (in particular, how resilient each dimension is and how organisations can best address concerns in both) would be valuable contributions from scholarship.

Finally, there should be a focus on cyber threats and how these link to social evaluations of organisations who are on the receiving end of such threats. We have seen a dramatic rise in professional cyberattacks – ranging from data phishing to ransomware – in recent years. Organisational preparedness insights and best practice thinking on response strategies would be invaluable.

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