RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Accenture in collaboration with Microsoft conducted for the first time in Greece a study on AI under the theme "Greece: With an AI to the Future".
  • Optimistic but cautious. Positive but confused. Mixed emotions seem to overwhelm Greeks when they think about AI.
  • Greek captains of industry recognize the strategic importance of AI. However, they hesitate to experiment and invest in it due to several issues.
  • Our analysis reveals that AI has the potential to lead to a cumulative $195 billion GDP uplift over a 15-year period (from 2020 to 2035).


Artificial Intelligence (AI): Just another technology buzzword?

Everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). From boardrooms to factory floors, from call centers to logistics fleets, and from governments to venture capitalists, Artificial Intelligence has become the hottest topic in town. However, this constellation of technologies that enables machines to sense, comprehend, act and learn is much more than the latest technology buzzword. In fact, AI might just be the single greatest technology revolution the world has ever seen.

Why conduct the first study on AI in Greece?

Organizations, industries, societies and countries as a whole have joined the race to explore AI, harness its benefits and become global AI-frontrunners. All evidence indicates that AI is here, and everyone must stand up and take notice.

In Greece, our study "Digital Greece: The Path to Growth" that we conducted in partnership with the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) in 2017, underlined the low contribution of digital to the country’s GDP and highlighted the importance of a national digital rotation.

Sharing the same anxiety and vision with Microsoft on the digitalization of Greece, we joined forces and author this study, which surfaces Greek public’s perception, hopes and fears on AI. It reveals the AI awareness and readiness of Greek organizations and estimates the projected economic growth that AI can infuse to the Greek economy over the next 15 years.

"Our study 'Greece: With an AI to the Future' sustains the national dialogue on the new forces shaping our era and provides evidence that AI can play a key role in unlocking trapped value in Greece."

– DR. KYRIACOS SABATAKAKIS, Country Managing Director

What do Greeks think and feel about AI?

The prospect of an AI-led future both excites and concerns Greeks. The fear of the unknown, the uncertainty and the unfamiliarity with AI, makes the majority of the respondents to feel confused, unsure or concerned, about what an AI-led future might entail. This uncertainty is offset by people’s views on the positive impact that AI can have on society. From personal assistants to medical preliminary diagnosis, Greeks see many ways in which AI can improve lives and work for the common good. At the same time, due to the rapid rise of AI, many questions and concerns remain open. How will AI affect us? Will we have less control over our lives? Will AI decrease the opportunities for humans and could we form relationships with machines in the same way we currently do with people?

This chart is highlighting the mixed emotions of Greeks towards an AI-led future, which  both excites and concerns them.

Sentiment of the Greek Public toward an AI future

Are Greek organizations AI-ready?

Similarly to the Greek public, Greek executives do recognize the strategic importance of AI and acknowledge it as a critical centerpiece for moving forward. It is sees as an "agent for change," however, they appear to be reluctant to actively invest in it. Several challenges are perceived to slow down their AI efforts: limited skills for implementing and using AI, IT infrastructure and low data quality being identified as the three top-of-mind ones.

85%

Cited that AI will open enormous opportunities for their organization to create new categories of products, services, business models and/or markets.

73%

Expect that AI will disrupt their industry over the next three (3) years and change the nature of competition.

71%

Fear that if they don’t implement AI, their competition will invest in AI and their organization will be at a severe competitive disadvantage.

Is AI a driver for Greece’s growth?

Our analysis reveals that AI can act as a new factor of growth for Greece over the next years. In fact, we find that AI has the potential to lead to a cumulative $195 billion GDP uplift over a 15-year period (from 2020 to 2035)—a powerful remedy to the limited growth experienced in the recent years.

This chart is highlighting that AI has the potential to lead to a cumulative $195 billion GDP uplift over a 15-year period, from 2020 to 2035, in Greece

Projected Cumulative GDP uplift in Greece, 2020 – 2035, (US$ billion constant 2010 prices)

"The time to act is now. In order not to lose momentum, Greek policy makers and captains of industry need to work in tandem to improve their "AIQ" and reimagine an AI-future for Greece."

– DR. JIORGIS KRITSOTAKIS, Senior Manager – CMT

What are the suggested next steps for policy makers and Greek captains of industry?

Policy makers must be prepared to address the challenges that go along with it. Namely, organizational, technological, political, ethical and social. To achieve this, policy makers shall gear their efforts and act toward the accomplishment of four goals:

  • Accelerate Greece’s digital rotation.
  • Prepare the next Generation for an AI future.
  • Advocate a code of ethics for AI.
  • Address the redistribution effects and ensure inclusion.

Similarly to policy makers, the Greek captains of industry should move from simply discussing to actively addressing the opportunities that arise from the systematic application of AI technologies across their organizations. To reap the benefits of AI deployment, business leaders must begin to invest now, in order to enable this set of technologies to mature and evolve in sync with the accelerated pace of change. For this, they shall:

  • Step beyond automation toward innovation and true growth.
  • Organizationally experiment and learn.
  • Take data "off the bench" and into the game.
  • Reimagine work and move from workforce planning to work planning.
  • New-Skilling to collaborate with intelligent machines.

Dr. Kyriacos Sabatakakis

Country Managing Director


Dr. Jiorgis Kritsotakis

Senior Manager – CMT


Valia Siakavella

Manager – CMT

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