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CEO priorities shift towards AI and sustainability in Q3 2023 according to report

IoT Analytics, a market analyst in Internet of Things (IoT), AI, Cloud, Edge, and Industry 4.0, released the results of their most recent quarterly company earnings call analysis. Based on a dataset of over 4,000 US business earnings calls from Q3 2023, the findings reveal three trends that seem to be dominating current CEO discussions: AI and Generative AI, AI chips, and sustainability.

The report identifies that three themes gained notable traction in earnings calls: AI and its related application topics, AI chips and sustainability. Notably, generative AI is now emerging as the dominant theme, replacing ChatGPT as the AI keyword of choice, while economic worries and uncertainty appear to be easing.

"I'm encouraged to see that as concerns of a potential recession fade, the emphasis on sustainability remains robust. AI, particularly generative AI, is emerging as the dominant theme of 2023,” states Knud Lasse Lueth, CEO at IoT Analytics. He added that "Generative AI isn't just another passing trend like blockchain or the metaverse. CEOs must take decisive action now to be at the forefront of this technological revolution."

Philipp Wegner, Principal Analyst at IoT Analytics, echoes this sentiment, stating that "The surge in discussions around AI strategy and AI chips in Q3 2023 is a clear indicator that businesses are moving beyond the 'what' and 'why' of AI to the 'how.' CEOs are now grappling with the logistical challenges of integrating AI into their existing infrastructures, and that's where the real transformation begins."

The analysis showed that topics related to economic concerns still feature prominently in global boardroom discussions but are decreasing quarter by quarter. Mentions of topics such as inflation dropped by 5% quarter-over-quarter to 47% of calls, while recession featured in just 11% of calls, marking a substantial drop of 38% quarter-over-quarter.

Discussions around generative AI, a subfield of AI, rose significantly to 29%, an increase of 37% quarter-over-quarter. Mentions of AI strategy and AI infrastructure also climbed significantly, increasing 128% and 103% quarter-on-quarter, respectively. However, the reverse was true for remote work, falling 48% quarter-on-quarter to 0.5% of earnings calls amid new concerns of a COVID-19 infection surge.

The report provides valuable insights into the state of play in global industries, with AI and sustainability taking centre stage in CEO discussions and shaping future investment priorities.

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