Business leaders love AI.
In theory, that is of hundreds of AI start-ups examined over the past few years, ‘very few companies are building unambiguously labour-replacing technologies’
Microsoft has unveiled the results of a survey of business leaders on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI). The findings are surprising: German and Russian entrepreneurs and executives appear to come out ahead of those from the US and other advanced European economies when it comes to adopting the technology.
Mostly, however, this and several other studies confirm a frustrating problem: the AI hype is making it impossible to figure out how much businesses really need it and are using it.
The 800 respondents in the study came from seven countries — the US, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It’s not a globe-spanning data-set and it doesn’t include the potential AI leader, China, nor one of the leaders in AI research, Canada. But the study’s scope is respectable. It shows that the US isn’t among the leaders of the AI race, though a 2018 study by Capgemini Consulting, for example, puts it out ahead and Russia far behind.
The problem with this survey — and a similar one by McKinsey — is that when people say they are using AI in their business, they may not all mean the same thing; they may not even be describing uses that fall under the rather broad definition of AI; and they may simply be boasting because the technology is fashionable.
In a new report, “The State of AI: Divergence, 2019,” the UK venture capital fund MMC Ventures claims that “one in seven large companies has adopted AI; in 24 months, two thirds of large companies will have live AI initiatives. In 2019, AI ‘crosses the chasm’ from early adopters to the early majority.”