Artificial intelligence is still waiting in the wings

Dortmund | 5. June 2019

Many companies are considering using artificial intelligence. But only a few AI applications are actually in use. That was revealed by a survey of the status quo conducted by IT service provider adesso.

adesso wanted to know which artificial intelligence technologies are already being used by companies, what strategies they are pursuing, and what they see as the greatest challenges. The IT service provider’s research involved surveying 329 decision-makers from a wide variety of industries. The result: the topic of AI is firmly established in their minds. Of those surveyed, 83 % said that they see the technology as a decisive factor for competitiveness, while 64 % said it plays an essential role in product innovation. Accordingly, almost half of those surveyed said artificial intelligence would be a priority in the next three years.

However, the majority lacked practical experience: while one-in-five of the companies surveyed had implemented a chatbot project, the implementation of other AI projects was often still in the planning phase. The respondents recognised that AI technologies facilitate new processes and offerings in areas such as marketing, sales and service. For example, 85 % agreed with the statement that AI processes can reduce wastage in digital marketing, thereby reducing costs. A total of 54 % of those surveyed can imagine using AI-based recommendations for the development of a new product or service – 32 % have already done so, or are in the middle of the planning process. Of the respondents, 56 % think intelligent lead scoring, which predicts the conversion rate for each customer, is a good idea – but only 26 % have implemented it, or are planning to do so.

Consumers generally see AI as positive

However, the applications that companies would consider and those that consumers would actually use are not always the same. For its AI survey adesso asked executives to assess specific applications from the point of view of their industry: Are you considering a similar AI solution? Is a solution like this of interest to your customers? A total of 84 % of decision-makers from the healthcare industry are convinced that consumers would use AI-supported health programmes. Meanwhile, the executives themselves were far more cautious, with just 38 % saying they were considering a solution of this kind. Of the decision-makers from the financial sector surveyed, 76 % think bank customers would trust an AI application with their investment. However, only 30 % of them would use such a system. Of the insurance experts questioned, 80 % believe a purely virtual insurance offering with humans replaced by AI would interest their customers. But they were more reserved, with 46 % considering a similar system.

However, general sentiment among German consumers is positive: a total of 83 % of consumers are convinced that AI and robots will take over a range of difficult tasks in the future, and have the capacity to make life easier, while 61 % believe that AI will benefit them.

AI expertise is essential

The decisive factor for the success of AI projects is qualified employees. German companies often lack AI skills, and the managers surveyed are aware of that deficit. More than half of them want to bring their own employees up to speed on the topic of AI, while 44 % are in the process of hiring qualified experts.

“Corporate decision-makers have recognised that AI technologies can be decisive to the success of a company in an increasingly competitive environment. The majority of the companies questioned have the topic on their radar, and consumers’ positive attitude to artificial intelligence results in fertile ground for the use of AI. However, companies must ask themselves when and where it is worth using AI. There isn’t just a single AI – every company has different goals, individual conditions, and needs a system that is tailored to its specific application”, explains Volker Gruhn, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and founder of adesso AG. “Developing a system of this type is a very exciting task. Moving from the planning stage to the AI project itself can be difficult, and there is a lack of experience and blueprints. AI solutions require completely new project structures and expertise on the part of participants.”


Volker Gruhn, founder and chairman of the supervisory board of adesso, says the development of AI systems is an exciting task. (Copyright: adesso)

The IT service provider has put together information about its approach “Building AI-based Systems” at https://ki.adesso.de/de/erste-schritte/building-ai-based-systems.html.

In January and February 2019, adesso conducted a survey on the subject of AI in cooperation with Cologne-based market research institute Heute und Morgen. A total of 329 corporate decision-makers and 1,000 consumers of different ages were surveyed in Germany. adesso has already published part 1 of the survey results (consumer element). For more information visit https://www.adesso.de/de/news/presse/deutsche-verbraucher-sehen-ki-positiv.jsp.

The study is available to download for free at: https://ki.adesso.de/de/erste-schritte/

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