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How Businesses Are Preparing for Artificial Intelligence

Investing in infrastructure, sure, but there’s more

February 8, 2017

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more widespread—and as larger numbers of businesses move to put it to use—companies are grappling with the challenge of what exactly they should be doing to prepare.

Ways in Which Business and IT Decision-Makers Worldwide Are Preparing Their Companies for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology Adoption, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

Not surprisingly, for many businesses, a key step is investment. A November 2016 survey by Infosys found that 60% of business and IT decision-makers worldwide were making investments in IT infrastructure.

But other areas of focus also emerged in the survey. Nearly half of respondents were tapping external experts for help, and nearly as many cited the need to build AI into their company’s “ethos.”

Almost one-third of the executives surveyed said they were gathering feedback from customers, an interesting—and affordable—way to assess needs and opportunities.

US Senior Marketers Who Believe Consumers Are Ready for Artificial Intelligence, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

Interestingly, a separate November 2016 study from Boxever found that marketers are generally confident in consumers’ appetite for artificial intelligence. Nearly 80% of US senior marketers in the survey believed consumers were “ready” for AI. Additionally, almost the same percentage of marketers said consumers were “excited” about chatbots, one of the most visible and widely recognized forms of consumer-facing AI.

And yet, Boxever found little such enthusiasm when it asked indviduals about chatbots. The majority of US internet users polled either had not tried chatbots, or had negative things to say about them.

Both Boxever’s and Infoysys’ surveys point to the importance of understanding customer attitudes when assessing new technology.

—Jeremy Kressmann

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