Artificial intelligence: Businesses and employees more sanguine about the impact of AI

As AI increases its reach across businesses in all sectors, the fear factor that initially inhibited its growth seems to be declining, and there is increased acceptance and optimism about its impact.

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Our 2018 European Tech Index reveals:

Fewer fears about job losses

In our 2016 Index, almost half (47 percent) of respondents agreed that a key drawback of AI was potential job losses. In our 2018 Index, this sentiment had dropped to just over a third (36 percent).

Fig 11 Drawbacks of AI/robotics

There are still some challenges with the adoption of AI

Other perceived drawbacks are now less prevalent, such as incompatibility (33 percent in 2016, 26 percent in 2018) and security (35 percent in 2016, 31 percent in 2018), but the level of investment as a barrier actually increased slightly (from 46 percent to 50 percent).

There is clear demand for an influx of workers skilled in AI

The leading drawback is talent scarcity, with more than half of respondents citing lack of staff expertise in AI/robotics as a barrier (51 percent in 2016, 52 percent in 2018). Whatever impact AI may have on job losses, it is also a catalyst for job creation.

How AI can be a serious force for good

AI has an image problem, created by Hollywood and worsened by mass media. However, with  thorough consideration of the necessary ethical framework and regulatory system, we can confidently look forward to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.