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Business leaders are generally excited about the prospect of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace but they also harbor ethical concerns, according to a recent survey of 1,600 decision makers at enterprise organizations conducted by the researchers at Vanson Bourne on behalf of Infosys, an IT services and consulting firm.
A majority of (76 percent) of IT and business decision makers view AI as a pivotal factor in their organization's success. By 2020, those businesses have already deployed or plan to adopt AI solutions expect their revenues to jump 39 percent gain and their costs to plummet 37 percent. Seventy-one percent describe AI's rise in the workplace as inevitable.
"As we are seeing AI mature and gain momentum, our research shows that the next four years will witness further spikes in interest, and general bullishness about the significant value and benefits that can be obtained through AI adoption," said Sandeep Dadlani, president and head of Americas at Infosys, in prepared remarks.
Tempering the zeal surrounding enterprise AI are worries about its impact on workforces.
AI is a concern or challenge among the employees at most organizations (90 percent), along with their customers and suppliers (88 percent). More than half (53 percent) of respondents said that ethical concerns pose "a significant obstacle" to effectively enabling AI in their organizations.
A majority of respondents (62) felt that a successful transition to AI-powered processes and workflows requires stringent ethical standards. Eighty percent said they plan to train employees regarding the use and benefits of AI. Among those companies that expect to replace roles with AI, 85 percent expect to redeploy or retrain affected workers.
The IT industry "must take necessary steps to ensure AI is developed morally and ethically across every part of society and that employees are actively engaged and provided with the necessary training to be central to this journey," asserted Dadlani.
Currently, businesses are investing in AI technologies related to big data automation (65 percent), followed by predictive analytics (54 percent). On average, organizations have been using AI-infused software and services for two years. Each has spent an average $6.7 million on AI in the last year.
As expected, IT departments are leading the AI charge at most organizations (69 percent), followed by operations departments (34 percent). Business development folks (33 percent) aren't too far behind as marketing departments nip at their heels (29 percent).
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.