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Swedish business leaders hesitate to embrace generative AI despite global growth

On February 23, it was more than just a day when Steve Wozniak took the stage at Tech Arena; it was a day filled with anticipation, with everyone waiting to hear what the prominent AI experts and business decision-makers would share. The question lingered in the air – would the tone be optimistic, or perhaps more restrained? It was as if every corner of the arena was filled with curious ears, all open to insights and perspectives that would shed light on the debated topic: the use of AI and its impact on the business world.

The event, which served as the hub for the latest innovations and technological advancements, became the venue for a groundbreaking initiative from PwC. To foster discussion and expedite adaptation to the possibilities of technology, PwC organized an inspiring panel debate with the theme "How Can we Accelerate the Use of AI in Corporates?". In a time when AI is expected to shape and propel the global economy forward, it was evident that PwC wanted to address and perhaps alleviate any doubts that might hinder Swedish business leaders from fully embracing the technological future.

At a time when artificial intelligence is expected to play a crucial role in the global economy, this event is marked as a powerful expression of PwC's commitment to promote the use of AI in the business sector. The enthusiasm and anticipation that permeated Tech Arena were clear signs of how central this issue is for business leaders and technology enthusiasts around the world. During the panel debate, key aspects of how Swedish companies can accelerate their efforts to embrace generative AI and thus remain relevant and competitive in the technology-driven future were highlighted.

A recently conducted global survey by PwC reveals that Swedish business leaders lag far behind their global counterparts in the use of generative AI. Regarding the use of generative AI in the Swedish market, it is evident that we face a challenge in matching the global average. Despite 64% of global CEOs believing that generative AI will enhance employee efficiency, the recent survey from PwC shows that only 18% of Swedish CEOs have begun to integrate this technology. This is a significant difference compared to the global average of 32%.

Fredrik Lundberg, AI lead at PwC Sweden, emphasizes the need for Swedish companies to increase their understanding of how AI can boost productivity and highlights the importance of considering the benefits of technology. He sees the low adoption of generative AI in Sweden as a consequence of excessive concern for risks rather than a rational focus on its extensive possibilities.


This is surprising considering Sweden's strong performance in various innovation indices, our digital maturity, and the significant investments made in research and development.

- Fredrik Lundberg, AI Lead at PwC Sweden

The results of the survey reveal a clear gap in attitudes toward AI between Swedish business leaders and their global counterparts. Only four out of ten Swedish CEOs share the optimism about the possibilities of AI, compared to six out of ten globally. Despite Sweden's strong position in innovation indices and digital maturity, business leaders seem more cautious when it comes to implementing generative AI.

The survey also indicates that Swedish business leaders do not see the same connection between technological development and value creation for their companies as global business leaders do. Only one-third of Swedish business leaders believe that new technology has created the most value for their companies in the past five years, compared to 42 percent globally. Moreover, only four out of ten Swedish CEOs believe that AI will improve the quality of their products and services in the coming year.

During the panel debate at Tech Arena, there was a clear consensus to view AI as a powerful tool to streamline and support the operations of Swedish companies, rather than replacing or taking over jobs. Experts highlighted concrete examples of how AI can be implemented to optimize processes and increase workplace productivity. The discussion also focused on the importance of companies being able to explain and clearly communicate how they use and protect customers' personal information in connection with AI implementation. By increasing transparency and building mutual trust between companies and customers, a smooth integration of generative AI can be facilitated. Overall, the panel debate underscored the need for a balanced and strategic approach to AI, where the technology is seen as a tool to enhance and complement human work, rather than as a potential threat to employment and privacy.

So there you have it – in a world where artificial intelligence is both the solution and the problem, where optimism meets caution, and where the spotlight from Tech Arena has faded, the question of the use of generative AI remains highly relevant. Perhaps it is time to embrace AI and see the light in the possibilities of technology, or we continue to navigate through the digital world with a certain degree of hesitation. Regardless, PwC's commitment is clearly evident.

Read more about PwC:s research