Artificial Intelligence: Most adopters worry about security

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Mumbai: Even as a debate rages over possible consequences of artificial intelligence (AI), a global survey has found managing security risk arising out of its adoption as the biggest concern for companies.

“Effectively managing the security risk of AI systems is of paramount importance for the majority of industries,” the global survey undertaken by country’s largest software exporter TCS said.

The survey added that companies in the automotive, banking and financial services, consumer goods, technology, industrial manufacturing, and telecoms said managing this risk is the biggest determinant of success on AI investments.

Getting managers and employees to trust the advice provided by AI systems, and getting employees to learn about and adopt the new processes and systems that AI requires is also very important, it said.

However, addressing people’s fears about losing their jobs is not ranked as a major barrier by the survey of 835 executives across 13 sectors.

The study comes amid growing concerns among a section of the tech world, which feels AI has the potential to have unwelcome consequences and are hence making a pitch for a regulation, while others feel that the industry will continue finding required solutions by itself.

The survey said all the industries, led by insurance have started to invest in AI systems.

The insurance industry is averaging USD 124 million in AI spends, followed by USD 95 million while the cross-sectoral average was USD 70 million, said the survey.

As many as 80 per cent of the 835 executives polled said they are investing in AI while the remaining 20 per cent said they have plans to start focusing on this aspect by 2020, it said.

“All industries see AI technology as a major game- changer on their business competitiveness by 2020,” TCS chief technology officer K Annath Krishnan said.

When going by investments in AI as a percentage of revenue, consumer goods industry led with 0.66 per cent, followed by utilities (0.53 per cent), insurance (0.52 per cent) and telecoms (0.39 per cent).

The survey claimed all respondents spoke about revenue benefits on AI investments with an average revenue increase of 17 per cent across all the 13 sectors. It has an impact on costs as well, with 12 per cent average reduction being reported by those polled.

Telecom is the biggest gainer when it comes to return on the AI investments, with 25 per cent revenue improvement and 20 per cent cost reductions reported by those polled.

AI is used the most by the information technology function with high-tech and utilities companies more frequently using cognitive technology in their IT operations, the survey said.

However, only 29 per cent of the companies are using AI in sales at present even though some segments like consumer goods (52 per cent) and retailers (49 per cent) reported higher tendency to use it.

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