The Strategist

Microsoft: 41% of British companies think they cannot compete with artificial intelligence

11/01/2018 - 11:39

According to Microsoft study, 41% of British companies believe that in the next five years their business model will not withstand competition with artificial intelligence (AI), and 51% of companies do not have a clear strategy to solve problems arising from the rapid development of this technology. Researchers note that business may well adapt and take advantage of AI, but only if it responds and re-arranges in time in accordance with the new conditions.

Microsoft surveyed 1,000 executives and 4,000 employees of British companies with at least 500 employees. The study was prepared with participation of representatives of such companies as Asos, Centrica, KPMG, researchers at the University of London and Manchester, Imperial College London, a representative of the British consortium of retail participants, a representative of the House of Lords of the British Parliament, responsible for the study of the topic of artificial intelligence.
In the survey, artificial intelligence meant “the ability of a computer to perceive, learn, condition and assist in decision-making”. This opportunity can be embodied in public transport, unmanned vehicles, searching for optimal routes, learning languages, communicating with customers, speech recognition, including in foreign languages, searching for goods in online stores, comparing prices, choosing goods, assessing the solvency of customers and partners, etc.
The survey revealed that 41% of managers will have to fundamentally change the business model of their companies already in the next five years, because otherwise they will not stand competition with AI. More than half (51%) of respondents answered that currently they do not have a clear strategy for solving all the problems arising for their business due to the development of AI.
At the same time, the researchers note that British companies have enough attitude and potential to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions and development of AI.
59% of the interviewed employees of British companies are ready to experiment with AI. More than half (52%) of the interviewed employees believe that the use of such new technologies to automate the solution of some tasks can free up time for solving more significant and complex tasks. At the same time, 51% of the interviewed employees reported that they do not use AI technology in their work.
Researchers attribute these results to several factors at once. In addition to the already mentioned lack of a clear strategy in relation to AI, managers of many companies need to change their attitude towards new technologies. Only 44% said they trust their organizations in the responsible use of AI, and only 26% said that their companies have a culture of transparency in communication between managers and employees. At the same time, 41% of respondents believe that the widespread use of AI can discard older employees, but only 18% of employees surveyed said that they are actively learning new technologies and are improving their skills in this area for practical application in their work.