By Bill Borden
KPMG surveyed 750 executives across five different industries – 150 per sector -- to get their thoughts about the current state of artificial intelligence and its potential. While many of the respondents see a great deal of promise, challenges were seen in workforce preparedness, data protection and privacy, and the outlook for how AI will be applied by companies.
This is an overview on five separate sectors tied to the data with links to each report.
Not surprisingly, the tech sector is the most advanced of the five sectors when it comes to adopting AI, but 73 percent of respondents think their companies should be more aggressive in AI investment and adoption. The tech sector decision-makers also believe all companies across industries should have an AI ethics policy and there should be government AI regulation. The AI technologies that are expected to have the most impact in the next two years are machine learning, cognitive computing and robotics, according to the survey. Tech companies need to be bold to embrace digitization, but they also must invest heavily in talent.
Fighting fraud and improving customer service are seen as potential benefits of AI among financial services companies,. However, only 47 percent say their organizations are “moderately to fully functional in AI deployment.” The three areas where AI will have the biggest benefit, financial executives say, will be in process automation, risk management assessments and fraud prevention. Banks need to prepare their organizations and their own organizations for big changes.
“If banks can designate a few leaders with the authority to make the final decisions about AI, they can move in a really agile manner,” said Atif Zaim, customer and operations service line leader. “It’s a different way of doing things. But it could truly transform their business."
AI adoption has increased steadily since 2017 in healthcare and studies are showing that AI can be a powerful tool to help clinicians. However, only 47 percent of healthcare respondents in the survey say employees are getting AI training. There are still widespread concerns about AI and the security and privacy of patient data.
Retail executives believe in AI can improve efficiency, but much needs to be done to realize the technology’s potential. Only half of respondents in the industry believe that retailing is “ahead of the curve” when it comes to AI adoption. Employee preparedness is seen as a major challenge in the sector.
AI in the transportation sector has raised the notion of what’s real and what’s hype. A number of challenges are slowing adoption throughout the transportation industry. For instance, the vast ecosystem required to reap the benefits of AI across the industry has not yet matured. Transportation industry executives see a lot of both in their sector as vehicles become “truly connected” and can receive updates sent wirelessly.