Early adopter competitive advantage may be fading as artificial intelligence (AI) implementation flourishes.

Deloitte this week has published its third edition of the “State of AI in the Enterprise” survey.

The research, conducted between Oct. and Dec. 2019, finds businesses are entering a new chapter in AI implementation where early adopters may have to work harder to preserve an edge over their industry peers.

The study shows that companies at the top will be those that utilise AI to pursue creative and novel applications, actively address inherent AI risks, and — as more businesses buy AI-powered capabilities — become smarter consumers of AI technology.

However, the research also presents some startling findings:

  • Sixty-one percent of respondents say AI will substantially transform their industry in the next three years.
  • Adopters are making significant investments with 53% spending more than $20 million during the past year on AI and talent.
  • Only 47% say that they have a high level of skill in selecting AI technologies and suppliers.
  • Almost all (95%) surveyed expressed concerns around ethical risks for their AI initiatives.
  • While cybersecurity remains the most worrisome AI risk for adopters, AI failures, misuse of personal data, and regulatory uncertainty are also top areas of concern.

“Seasoned” adopters are the example to follow as the global survey of 2,737 information technology and line-of-business executives finds this category has undertaken many AI production deployments. They have also developed a high level of AI expertise across the board in selecting AI technologies and suppliers; identifying use cases for building and managing AI solutions; integrating AI into their IT environment and business processes; and hiring and managing AI technical staff.

Irfan Saif, principal and AI co-leader, Deloitte & Touche LLP said: “As organisations become more invested in AI, it is imperative that they have a common framework, principles, and practices for the board, C-suite, enterprise and third-party ecosystem to proactively manage AI risks and build trust with both their business and customers.”

Nitin Mittal, principal and AI co-leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP continues to say that: “Our study results show that while early adopters of AI are still bullish, their competitive advantage may be waning as barriers to adoption continue to fall and more creative use of the technology grows. In the era of pervasive AI, where capabilities are readily available, organisations should go beyond efficiency and push boundaries to create new AI-powered products and services to be successful.”

The concept of tech ethics in communications is of increasing interest to us here at simplycommunicate. This week, simplycommunity members took part in a presentation from Fiona McEvoy, a TechEthics researcher, blogger and writer to understand the role of comms in this sector. Is this something for us to be thinking about? Absolutely. The use of AI in enterprises is growing. But how much do we really know about how it’s being used? Join the simplycommunity to have access to the recording.

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