New Survey from IP EXPO Europe Shows Mixed AI Signals from UK IT Decision Makers
LONDON – 14 September 2016 – New research commissioned by IP EXPO Europe, Europe's number one enterprise IT event, shows that although 37% of respondents think that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a main technology theme for enterprises in 2017, there are mixed signals in terms of business application, investment levels and impact on society from UK IT decision makers (ITDMs).
The results reveal that a significant 32% of respondents claim they are concerned about AI replacing human jobs overall, with 19% admitting that they are more worried about their own job being overtaken by a robot than they were 12 months ago. In addition, there is a clear perceived risk factor, with almost a third worried about the unknown impacts of increased AI. 22% of respondents also voiced concerns about AI providing another route for cyber security attacks. Interestingly, 1 in 10 UK ITDMs thought that no form of artificial intelligence was of value to business.
However, the results also indicate that any hesitancy in uptake perhaps comes from a lack of immediately recognised business/organisational applications and perceived cost. In fact, 21% noted that although they didn’t think AI was applicable to their business right now, it could be one day. Another 18% saw the advantages of increased AI automation and machine learning technologies but claimed such initiatives were ‘too expensive’ to implement immediately.
In parallel with these AI ‘non-believers’, the survey also showed a more positive take on AI from some respondents. 28% agreed that there are huge benefits to be had, and that they need artificial intelligence in their business now. A very confident 35% of ITDMs have never been worried about their job being overtaken by a robot. In fact they think that it will make for a more efficient, smarter workforce enabling humans to focus on more high-value concerns. Automation (26%) and machine learning (23%) topped the list of types of AI most valuable to businesses, followed by cognitive computing (13%) and robotics or co-botics (12%).
While 11% said that AI had already hit the workplace, some thought it would take longer to see the real impact with a quarter of respondents (24%) predicting it would take up to 3 years, 15% up to 4 years and 23% up to 5 years.
This mixed picture is reflected in predicted investment levels. While 27% aren’t intending to invest anything at all in AI over the next 12 months, 36% are intending to allocate up to 30% of their total IT budget in some form of AI in the next 12 months. More interestingly, 22% will be investing between 31% and 50%, with 16% claiming it will be over 50%.
Bradley Maule-ffinch, Director of Strategy for IP EXPO Europe comments; “With Nick Bostrom, one of the world’s foremost authorities on Artificial Intelligence as our opening keynote this year, we were keen to investigate the realities of the state of AI within the UK IT industry. The results reinforce that while AI is unarguably a ‘hot topic’, a range of unanswered questions still exist about the implementation, application and real benefits of AI in business. It is sure to be a highly debated subject at this year’s event.”
Bostrom, Author & Founding Director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute will be the opening keynote at Day One of this year’s IP EXPO Europe. Bostrom will be discussing the impact that AI and intelligent machines will have on business and society, and sets out to answer the question: ‘Will AI bring about the end of humanity?’
IP EXPO EUROPE EXHIBITOR COMMENTS:
Natalie Keightley, customer experience evangelist at Avaya: “Artificial Intelligence in enterprise is fast becoming a reality. And it’s in customer service where it seems to be gaining the most traction, fastest.
A range of AI, including chatbots, is increasingly being used to take away the menial tasks from agents, allowing them to focus on the human element that is so crucial to driving customer satisfaction and enabling them to provide better and warmer collaboration with their customers.
The application of artificial intelligence to deliver on the combined objectives of first-touch resolution and immersive experiences is moving beyond the conceptual stage. Avaya is already working on a self-learning chatbot that should be generally available in a few months. This type of AI is able to predict customer preferences and resolve problems – almost before the customer knows they have one.
Ultimately though, there is one key element that will never change regardless of technological advancements: the customer. I believe AI will support this continued focus on the customer because it will enable agents to spend more time assisting customers in the best possible way – the personal way.”
Graham Jones, UK managing director, Exclusive Networks: “AI is already a factor in cyber security with advanced User Behaviour Analytics technology, from vendors like Exabeam, that analyses and risk assesses behaviours, aiding the detection, response to, and remediation of, advanced attacks. But in ten years the complexity of the digital world will be unrecognisable from today and I expect huge advances in processing power to enable advanced tracking, analytics and automated decision making to seep further and deeper into the wider world of humans and society. Perhaps we eventually become one of the things in the Internet of Things? Although, sizeable alarm bells will be centred on how far this is allowed to go in the name of security and who will make those decisions.“
Ojas Rege, Chief Strategy Officer at MobileIron: “My master’s thesis back in 1988 was on the use of artificial intelligence in systems design and testing, so this is a question near and dear to my heart. Identifying and learning from patterns in data will be a double-edged sword in mobile security.
“On the one hand, risk will be heightened as existing mobile threats become smarter and mutate more quickly to exploit chinks in the security armour. On the other hand, mobile security will become more robust as threat prevention systems benefit from insights from huge data sets on past and present attacks. These systems will become smarter and more effective at suggesting defensive actions to neutralise threats.
The next ten years will be an arms race between hackers and security providers as both harness the very real power that AI holds for mobility security.”
To register for IP EXPO Europe 2016 for free please visit www.ipexpoeurope.com where you can also find additional information about this year’s keynote and seminar sessions, including speaking times. Find us on Twitter and join the discussion using #IPEXPO.
Note to editors:
This survey was conducted online by Redshift Research in July 2016 on behalf of IP EXPO Europe, and surveyed 500 IT departments within businesses across the UK.
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