COMPETING IN THE COGNITIVE AGE
Assessing the results of a global survey from Protiviti and ESI ThoughtLab.
Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) may conjure up futuristic images along with hype and fear (see our definition of advanced AI) But the reality is much different. To understand where this technology is headed and how business leaders will apply it in the immediate future, Protiviti and ESI ThoughtLab conducted a global research study delving into where advanced AI stands today and what executes worldwide are planning for and expect to happen within two years.
The survey found that when it comes to advanced AI, most companies are still at the starting gate. Moreover, many non-technology executives still have a “show me” attitude about the value that advanced AI can deliver. But very soon, that picture is expected to change dramatically. A sizable majority of companies are fast tracking AI applications and expecting to see significant gains in profitability, productivity, revenue and shareholder value in as little as two years.
AI may be the most important development of our era, poised to have a transformational impact on the world that may rival that of electricity, according to Dr. Andrew Ng, adjunct professor at Stanford and founder of the Google Brain deep learning project. For business, AI will be a major game changer. It will enable companies to take performance, decision-making and risk management to new heights across their enterprise. The AI revolution will change the course for business across all industries and turn data into the key driver of competitive advantage.
Today, businesses are trying to understand advanced AI and mover their organisations to embrace it. Internal advocates more familiar with the latest technologies often pressure sceptical senior executives to pursue advanced AI. However, advanced AI is changing industries rapidly, as well as the perspective of these executives. “By 2022, business leaders themselves will be demanding AI solutions to keep up with and/or beat their competitors,” says Cory Guderson, executive vice president in charge of global solutions at Protiviti. “We are entering the cognitive age. Over the next 25 years, advanced AI will be the central element of digital transformation that fundamentally changes how businesses operate.”
To understand how companies will transform their businesses through AI and the benefits they will gain, Protiviti and ESI ThoughtLab conducted a global survey of 300 senior executives across functions, industries and company sizes. According to our research, most companies are still in the early planning and implantation stages of AI development, with only a small minority today gaining significant value from advanced AI. But that number will swell to over half of all companies over the next two years as enterprises across industries and regions put advanced AI on the fast track.