insights

Artificial Intelligence: Hype vs Reality

September 11, 2019

While Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies have been around for several decades, the combination of big data, open source software and commoditised cloud computing has been the catalyst that has seen AI development accelerate exponentially in the last few years.

In partnership with YouGov, we commissioned a short survey of over 1,000 senior decision makers, including owners, partners, chairpersons and non-executive directors, working across the public and private sectors. The focus of the study is to lift the veil on boards’ attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence and understand the reality of adoption and awareness at executive level.

Undeniably, AI has become a boardroom buzzword. Speed – of development and deployment – is now the name of the game in today’s business environment. Many at executive level have turned to emerging technologies, including AI and Machine Learning; attempting to leverage them to help speed up the process of data collection, management and model train and deployment, with the ultimate goal of increased competitiveness, reduced costs, and regulatory compliance.

While this is the theory, anecdotally the reality is known to be markedly different across the business environment.

The study has revealed the real rate of AI adoption among UK businesses, along with the main obstacles that are preventing progress.

The barriers to AI adoption have been found to be three-fold. Firstly, there is a lack of coherent strategy surrounding AI deployments; characterised by a lack of knowledge on where to implement AI and a lack of consideration about how to best accelerate AI projects.

Secondly, a significant number of organisations do not have a dedicated person or team driving AI adoption. Not only does this make it difficult to see the tangible results of AI projects, it also leads to the third major barrier which is a lack of AI projects being deployed in organisations at all.

On a positive note, the study has also highlighted the best approaches from a senior executive perspective; throwing light on those organisations who are leading the way in AI deployment and the strategies they are employing which have led to tangible returns on investment.

With this study, we aimed to demystify the hype surrounding scaling AI in the Enterprise. We hope that you find it useful and can use the data to help further your understanding and implement AI successfully across your organisation.

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Gary Richardson
MD, Emerging Technology