Ethics and new technologies: Careful consideration is required for successful adoption

The successful and legally sound adoption of new technologies requires careful consideration of the regulatory position (present and future), ethical issues, and the implications for employees and customers.

Our 2020 European Technology Index reveals:

AI presents great opportunities across a variety of sectors

The predictive, analytical and problem-solving nature of AI can make significant improvements to performance, productivity and customer experience. But there are also risks, especially in terms of retaining stakeholder trust, which have fueled a strongly polarized narrative around AI.

Retaining stakeholder trust requires a high standard of accountability

Boards must have the right skillsets to understand how technology is being used and managed in their company, and adopt an overarching ethics framework that ensures certain principles on AI deployments are followed, such as personal privacy, transparency of use, and bias and discrimination mitigation.

AI and robotics afford flexibility and agility for a greater competitive edge

AI solutions cannot be taken out of the box and plugged into an organization to provide instant benefits. 56% of respondents see the level of investment requirement as the main drawback, followed closely by 55% recognising that there is a skills gap.

There is increasing acceptance of non-human interfaces for customer interactions

In terms of main areas that would benefit from AI or robotics, the most striking result is customer service at 60% – more than doubling from 23% in 2018. In contrast, there is a surprising stagnation in product development (down to 35% from 38% in 2018). Only 2% of respondents believe that AI/robotics will improve HR.



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