Tech Quarterly

Essential AI insights from Q3 21

In this Tech Quarterly

While many companies still struggle to put AI to good use, the technology has reached an inflection point as adoption worldwide keeps growing. But consumers and researchers alike have concerns about how AI is implemented, and the potential risks it brings.

5 minute read

Shirley Siluk

Senior Editor

December 28, 2021 6:52 pm

1. ‘Vicious cycle’ keeps most US firms from using AI for better decisions
Eighty per cent of US companies are struggling to use AI for better decision making, according to a survey of 1000 senior executives conducted by Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and ESI ThoughtLab. The survey identified three obstacles to making better use of AI: failure to appreciate the technology’s potential, low trust in the technology and limited adoption of AI.

2. High hopes – but big challenges – for AI in warehousing
Across industries, nearly 90 per cent of warehouse executives, directors and managers say they could use more expertise and information to put AI to effective use in their businesses, according to a Vanson Bourne survey commissioned by Lucas Systems. Even so, they are optimistic about the technology’s potential, expecting an average return on investment of more than 60 per cent within five years.

3. Asset managers see growing role for AI in coming year
A Funds Europe survey for the banking software company Temenos found that asset managers believe that AI and machine learning will increasingly provide insights across the investment lifecycle. The top areas where they expect AI to be applied as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic: portfolio analytics and performance measurement (60 per cent); data sourcing, cleansing and enrichment (57 per cent); and improving the operational efficiency of middle- and back-office processes (56 per cent).

4. AI researchers have low trust in military, Chinese tech firms, Facebook
More than two-thirds of AI and ML researchers agree that work on AI systems needs to place a higher priority on trust, a study published in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research found. The study also found that researchers trust international and scientific organisations the most regarding the development and use of AI in the public interest; their least-trusted organisations: national militaries, Chinese technology companies and Facebook.

5. Survey: Insurance customers say no to AI-only claim reviews
A survey by the US online insurance marketplace Policygenius found that only 17 per cent of consumers said they would be comfortable with their insurance claims being reviewed entirely by AI instead of a human, and 59 per cent would change insurers to avoid such reviews.

6. Consumers support use of AI to improve online meeting experiences
AI and automation could improve the online meeting experience, a survey of US consumers by the conversational service automation provider Uniphore found. -one per cent of respondents said they would be open to using AI tools during video meetings to interpret the moods or interests of others, to provide on-screen transcriptions or to help them act on the topics being discussed.

7. Majority of HR professionals see AI as way to promote inclusion
Six out of 10 HR practitioners surveyed by Eightfold AI said they plan to use AI to support workplace inclusion and to train employees for future work demands. Nearly 82 per cent of respondents believe HR teams will use more AI tools for talent management in the next five years.

8. AI ‘inflection point’ requires thinking about downsides and risks
The field of artificial intelligence has reached an inflection point and there’s an urgent need to “think seriously about the downsides and risks that the broad application of AI is revealing”, states the 2021 Study Panel Report from The One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence. With a growing ability to “automate decisions at scale”, AI poses risks from intentional deepfakes, unaccountable algorithms and algorithms trained on biased historical data, the report concludes: “At the end of the day, the success of the field will be measured by how it has empowered all people, not by how efficiently machines devalue the very people we are trying to help.”

9. WEF: AI could help accelerate low-carbon transition
Digital technologies – and AI in particular – are key enablers for making the transition to a low-carbon global energy system, according to a study from the World Economic Forum. Despite AI’s potential, the report notes that the energy sector is currently making limited use of the technology, mostly for pilot projects in predictive asset maintenance. “While it is useful there, a much greater opportunity exists for AI to help accelerate the global energy transition than is currently realized,” the report states.

10. IDC: AI revenues will pass $500B mark by 2024
Global revenues for the AI market are expected to grow by 15.2 per cent this year – reaching a total value of $341.8 billion – and will expand by an even faster pace of 18.8 per cent in 2022, according to IDC’s latest Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Tracker. IDC predicts revenues in the AI market will surpass $500 billion by 2024.

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent