February 13, 2020
-- Survey also reveals most tech sector decision-makers are in favor of government AI regulation
-- Skills gap seen as a challenge to expanding AI to more workers
Nearly 90 percent of technology company decision-makers believe companies in all industries should implement an AI ethics policy to help govern their AI work, according to a new KPMG LLP report based on a survey of 150 U.S. tech sector leaders. Also, most respondents (69 percent) are in favor of some level of government involvement in regulating AI.
In the study, tech executives shared their views on the future of AI in their sector as well as the steps they are taking to maximize its benefits and mitigate its challenges. The tech findings are part of a larger KPMG-commissioned survey of 751 business decision-makers across five sectors, technology, transportation, retail, healthcare, and financial services.
[Read KPMG’s new report: https://advisory.kpmg.us/content/dam/advisory/en/pdfs/2020/technology-living-in-an-ai-world.pdf]
“Companies that are embedding AI and other forms of digitization into every process and functionality are disrupting the competition,” said Sreekar Krishna, KPMG Principal Innovation and AI-enabled Digital Transformation. “Those with big legacy technology infrastructures, who have been hesitant to invest, are being left behind.”
AI and jobs
More than a third of technology industry decision-makers (37 percent) are worried that AI could replace their positions. Technology sector executives see skills gaps as one of the most prominent challenges to developing and adopting AI. While 61 percent feel existing employees are prepared for AI adoption, they need more workers who are ready for AI– and they need to improve how they are integrated into the business.
“The tech sector’s search for talent, not only in AI but across multiple digital skills, is one of the factors contributing to the rise of tech hubs, where talent, infrastructure and economics converge to produce these capabilities,” said Tim Zanni, KPMG Global and U.S. Technology Sector Leader. “Tech companies must address the needs of their current and future workforces, and quickly achieving that balance sets the stage for long-term success.”
AI adoption by technology companies
Most technology industry respondents (62 percent) believe that AI adoption is moving at an appropriate speed across their industry, but a greater majority (73 percent) think their company should be even more aggressive in AI investment and adoption, especially in the area of organizational improvement efficiencies.
Technology sector respondents said leveraging the spectrum of AI technologies will make their companies run more efficiently, with machine learning (59 percent) – computing’s ability to improve performance without the need to follow programmed instructions – expected to have the greatest impact, followed by deep learning and facial recognition.
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