40% of global organisations surveyed think deploying AI creates more jobs

We always knew AI would transform the world of work, exactly how has been the subject of numerous debates. One common prediction went like this: “It’s coming for our jobs.”  But according to a new survey from Dun & Bradstreet of AI World Conference and Expo attendees, 40% of respondents’ organisations are adding more jobs as a result of deploying artificial intelligence within their business.

According to the survey, contrary to the fears around AI being a job killer, only eight per cent of respondents said they were axing jobs because of AI implementation and 34% said job demand is staying the same. Another 18% claimed that AI is not impacting their workforce at all. The 100 respondents of the survey were business executives from Global 2000 organisations, working in AI and machine learning.

The survey also discovered that the number of businesses deploying AI is expected to rise. Nearly half (44%) of businesses are in the process of deploying the technology, while one in five businesses are fully deploying it; an additional 23% are in the planning phase of implementation. Only 11% are not deploying AI at all.

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AI explainability

Having AI that can be trusted and understood by humans was an issue cited by nearly half (46%) of respondents. In contrast, only one-third said that they comprehensively understand how their AI systems have come to their conclusions.

“Businesses often look to AI to provide answers to more complex questions, but because AI models have been trained by humans, this approach often results in the potentially misleading reinforcement of existing knowledge, especially when the right steps are not taken in advance,” said Anthony Scriffignano, Ph.D., chief data scientist at Dun & Bradstreet. “This underscores the need to have conversations about diversity of thought and methodology so that the technology can be more valuable to the enterprise.”

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Human skills and data needed

Thanks to a lack of human skills, as well as a lack of data, implementing AI in 2019 is going to be tricky, according to respondents.

“Data is the foundation upon which any technology – especially AI – can be built,” Scriffignano added. “If you have a faulty data foundation, you will likely have a faulty technology approach yielding faulty insights. As data continues to be produced and stored in exponentially increasing quantities, we will begin to see AI systems adapt and improve, which is inherent to the value of AI.”

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Other hurdles predicted for 2019 are technology infrastructure (17 %), hesitation from C-suite/executive decision makers ( eifght per cent), lack of budget (eight per cent), regulatory challenges (seven per cent) and the lack of a strong digital base (one per cent).

According to the survey, organizations are largely using AI for analytics (62 %), automation (52%) and data management (42%).  A further 29% are using the technology for back-end systems improvements, along with 23% using AI for consumer-facing chatbots.

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future