More than half of businesses expect artificial intelligence (AI) to create new jobs, improve products and increase operational efficiency, according to a new poll conducted by EY Global.
Held at the MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital Conference in San Francisco, California from 26-27 March 2018, the poll showed that 32% of 122 business leaders expect AI to create more jobs than it replaces. An additional 20% said the technology to create a ‘surge’ in new jobs that will ultimately boost the economy.
According to the poll, 54% of respondents will use AI to improve and/or develop new products and services, 50% will adopt it to streamline business processes and achieve cost efficiencies, and 49% will implement the technology to improve decision making.
While 30% of the survey respondents said their organisations have functional AI capabilities and are piloting the technology within corporate functions, they do not have an enterprise-wide AI strategy that aligns with these initiatives. In addition, more than half have not yet defined any business outcomes or key performance indicators for implementing AI.
According to 80% of respondents, the top challenge to enterprise-wide AI adoption is a lack of people with the necessary skills. Meanwhile, 53% said they were hampered by a lack of integration of AI insights into current business processes, 48% cited a lack of managerial understanding and sponsorship as a key barrier, and 48% said the data used for AI was not trusted or of high enough quality. As such, 28% said their organisations have limited to no capabilities when it comes to AI and only 21% are making progress in securing C-suite support and rolling out a strategy for applying AI.
“Enterprises are increasingly applying AI to their operational models,” said Chris Mazzei, EY Global’s innovation technologies leader and chief data and analytics officer. “As a result, we are seeing leaders develop a more sophisticated view of how the technology could impact value creation and provide commercial differentiation. While AI is still in the early stage of maturity, businesses need to develop an AI strategy that is supported by the C-suite with the proper team to execute and measure its success.”
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