Tuesday, 22 January 2019 11:21

Global use of AI on the rise, but talent in short supply: report Featured

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Global use of AI on the rise, but talent in short supply: report Image courtesy of Cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Artificial intelligence is on the rise around the world, according to a new global study that found the number of enterprises implementing AI grew 270% in the past four years and tripled in the past year.

According to the Gartner study, organisations across all industries use AI in a variety of applications, but struggle with acute talent shortages.

“Four years ago, AI implementation was rare, only 10% of survey respondents reported that their enterprises had deployed AI or would do so shortly. For 2019, that number has leapt to 37% – a 270% increase in four years,” said Chris Howard, distinguished research vice-president at Gartner.

“If you are a CIO and your organisation doesn’t use AI, chances are high that your competitors do and this should be a concern,” he cautioned.

According to Gartner, the deployment of AI has tripled in the past year — rising from 25% in 2018 to 37% today.

The reasons for this big jump is that AI capabilities have matured significantly and so enterprises are more willing to implement the technology.

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“We still remain far from general AI that can wholly take over complex tasks, but we have now entered the realm of AI-augmented work and decision science — what we call ‘augmented intelligence',” Howard said.

Gartner says that CIOs have realised that sustainable digital transformation and task automation go hand in hand.

“AI has become an integral part of every digital strategy and is already used in a variety of applications. Survey results show that 52% of telco organisations deploy chatbots and 38% of healthcare providers rely on computer-assisted diagnostics. Other operational use cases for AI are fraud protection and consumer fragmentation,” the company notes.

Howard says the more enterprises work with AI, the clearer the deployment challenge becomes.

Fifty-four percent of respondents to a Gartner Research Circle Survey view skill shortages as the biggest challenge facing their organisation.

“In order to stay ahead, CIOs need to be creative. If there is no AI talent available, another possibility is to invest in training programs for employees with backgrounds in statistics and data management. Some organisations also create job shares with ecosystem and business partners,” Howard said.

Graphic: courtesy Gartner

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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