Companies both big and small are embracing the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), expanding its use to the edge and endpoint. Surprisingly, they’re seeing little slowdown in deployment plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The survey of
301 business and technology leaders indicates widespread optimism around AI as
companies re-architect their businesses and customer experiences. At the same
time, the report shows that the economic and social effects of the pandemic
have done little to dent plans around deploying AI. Nearly 40 percent of
respondents indicated their AI plans are unchanged, while a third said the
pandemic has actually accelerated their plans.
respondents are members of the MIT Technology Review Global Panel, a group of
professionals asked to share their expertise on technology and business. Respondents
were asked about their organizations’ AI strategies, how they’re using AI
technologies, and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their deployments.
generated off the back of the survey also includes interviews with a number of
tech executives who offer their unique perspectives on AI deployment.
AI is enabling companies to re-imagine and re-architect their business
Companies are leveraging AI for reasons that include real-time decision-making, gaining a competitive edge, product development and improving customer experience. In short, AI is enabling companies to re-imagine and re-architect their business.
Most of the AI
efforts in the surveyed universe directly leverage cloud-based compute,
although more and more projects are utilizing AI compute at the edge and
who was until recently chief technology officer at Schneider Electric, the
energy management company, said the cloud has been imperative “not only to
transform our company digitally but also to transform our customers’ businesses
“It was a
clear, strategic area of investment for us before the crisis,” added Gokcen,
who was one of a handful of AI adopters interviewed as part of the MIT Tech
Report highlights clear bifurcation of compute
that are deploying AI solutions are doing so with clear bifurcation of compute duties
in mind. For example, Marc Raibert, chairman of the robotics company Boston
Dynamics, describes this as “athletic AI” versus “cognitive AI.” The former is
computed largely on the device, such as a robot, where algorithms are tightly
coupled with the machine and low latency is crucial. The latter is about
thinking, planning and learning from a given environment. Here, companies are
leveraging the cloud.
The MIT Tech
Review survey also offers some relief for those who worry about the deleterious
effects of AI. When it comes to the ethics of AI, business and tech leaders are
most worried about AI falling into the wrong hands, and they’re uneasy about a
lack of transparency and human bias coming through in algorithms.
“We realize people will judge us based on how sophisticated we are in thinking of ethics and community concerns around AI,” says Gokcen.
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