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article imageGradual introduction of AI could be critical to tech's success

By James Walker     Dec 8, 2017 in Technology
Almost 30 percent of business apps will be updated to include AI enhancements within the next two years, according to a new article from a CCS Insight analyst.
In addition, nearly 60 percent of enterprises are using or trialling AI technology in their business.
Artificial intelligence is developing at an increasingly rapid rate as it diversifies into more applications and environments. Companies are betting big on AI tech to drive forward digital transformation, improve efficiency and deliver better customer experiences. According to a study cited by CCS Insight analyst Nicholas McQuire, 58 percent of IT decision makers are using, trialling or researching AI and 29 percent plan to incorporate it into their apps by 2019.
Gradual introduction
The figures demonstrate strong interest on the part of enterprises. However, other recent studies have shown that consumers remain sceptical and general adoption of AI is still quite sluggish. Companies are yet to demonstrate to their workforce or customers that AI is capable of enabling its oft-attributed benefits. In addition, they also need to show that the benefits, if obtainable, can offset the risks to human roles that many people perceive.
McQuire, writing on the Google blog, said companies must be prepared to scale-back their AI deployment plans. If adoption is to be successful, the introduction of new tech should be completed gradually. This gives employees time to adapt to the incoming processes and concepts.
As people gain familiarity with the tech, they're more likely to fully utilise its features and will be less fearful of potential privacy violations. The same approach should be used for consumer-facing technologies. Continuing to implement AI-based systems at breakneck pace could destabilise the machine learning industry, causing resistance amongst users still concerned about privacy considerations.
Change management
Successfully introducing AI technology will require enterprises to proactively manage change and inform their employees. McQuire warned lingering fears and confusion must be properly addressed, including points that might be raised by customers.
During the transition period, companies should keep traditional alternatives to AI operational, while steering users towards the AI service and highlighting its benefits. Some types of AI service, such as automated support desks, are already benefitting from use of this strategy. The customer is allowed to make an informed choice that leaves them feeling more comfortable. Regular reminders of the benefits could eventually cause them to use and then trust the AI.
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"While our surveys reveal employees are generally positive on AI, there is still much fear and confusion surrounding AI as a source of job displacement," wrote McQuire. "Be mindful of the impact of change management, specifically the importance of good communication, training and, above all, employee engagement throughout the process."
Companies can also try early adoption of services that use AI subtly, such as next-generation workplace collaboration tools. This helps employees to engage with AI on a regular basis and furthers the business' transition towards new digital tech. Gradually incorporating AI allows firms to start benefitting from efficiency improvements immediately, while ensuring employees and customers don't feel alienated or disillusioned.
More about Artificial intelligence, Ai, machine learning, future tech, Workplace
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