Many GCC Organizations Overestimate Their “Responsible Artificial Intelligence” Maturity – But There Is Good News For The Region


A BCG GAMMA survey finds that the majority of companies in the region believe that their Responsible Artificial Intelligence maturity is higher than it is.  However, GCC companies are overall in a good position, with the public sector and industrial goods sector leading the way when compared to peers in other markets

Elias Baltassis, BCG GAMMA Lead for the Middle East

Dubai: A new global survey conducted by BCG GAMMA found that 55% of all global respondents overestimate the maturity of their Responsible Artificial Intelligence (RAI) program—the structures, processes, and tools that help organizations ensure that their AI systems work in the service of good while transforming their businesses.  This percentage however is lower in the GCC with “only” 52% of companies overestimating their RAI maturity.  The recently released survey is discussed in an article titled “Are You Overestimating Your Responsible AI Maturity?” 

Elias Baltassis, BCG GAMMA Lead for the Middle East and a co-author of the article, noted, “The results were surprising in that so many organizations are overly optimistic about the maturity of their RAI implementation. Companies need to expand their efforts to ensure the ethical, transparent, and accountable use of AI technologies”

“It is significant to note that two key sectors in the GCC ranked higher than the global average” added Baltassis.  “AI is quickly gaining traction in the GCC, however, it is important that companies develop a more realistic understanding of their RAI maturity, to avoid the risk of limiting their investment in the area, and to ensure that they realize the transformative potential of artificial intelligence” concludes Baltassis.

The survey, the first to assess the maturity of RAI implementations, collected data from senior executives at more than 1,000 large organizations globally. It classified companies in four maturity stages, from Lagging to Leading, and found that GCC organizations were mostly on par with global averages:

  • Lagging: 22% (GCC) vs. 14% (Global Average)
  • Developing: 41% (GCC) vs. 34% (Global Average)
  • Advanced: 17% (GCC) vs. 31% (Global Average)
  • Leading: 20% (GCC) vs. 21% (Global Average)

Each stage reflects the organization’s progress in addressing seven generally accepted dimensions of RAI, including fairness and equity, data and privacy governance, and human plus AI.

With the misuse of AI regularly making headlines, the survey found that only 19% of regional organizations – still above the global average – use AI to mitigate potential risks, while 40% rightly understand that RAI is an opportunity to realize significant business benefits. 

Although C-suite executives and boards of directors are concerned with the organizational risks posed by a lapse of an AI system, the survey finds that businesses are not pursuing RAI simply to mitigate potential risks. Instead, leading organizations leverage RAI as an opportunity to realize significant business benefits, including brand differentiation, improved employee recruiting and retention, and a culture of responsible innovation.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Implementation of the accountability, fairness and equity, human + AI, and transparency, dimensions lags behind the other dimensions in the GCC with similar findings in other regions
  • Globally, most RAI leaders have both an individual and a committee guiding their RAI implementation
  • While differences exist across industries, an organization’s region is a better predictor of overall RAI maturity
  • Organizations in different industries engage in RAI for different reasons, with the public sector less focused on business benefits, for example than industrial goods, automotive, and others


BCG GAMMA is BCG’s global practice dedicated to applying artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to critical business problems at leading companies and organizations. The team includes more than 1,100 data scientists and engineers who utilize AI and advanced analytics (including machine learning, deep learning, optimization, simulation, natural language processing, and image analytics) to build solutions that transform business performance. BCG GAMMA’s approach builds value and competitive advantage at the intersection of data science, technology, people, business processes, and ways of working. For more information, please visit our webpage. 

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