Cognitive Technologies Survey 2017
Early adopters speak out on cognitive and AI
What do the most aggressive adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies report based on their efforts to date? On everything from the impact on jobs to their specific goals and exactly which technologies they're using and much more, 250 leaders shared their views on this important business development just as it takes hold in the broader business world.
Leaders in cognitive and AI weigh in on what’s working and what’s next
With all the talk about cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in business circles today, it's natural to wonder whether these capabilities are having any measurable impact.
So we asked some of the most aggressive adopters of cognitive technologies how they have fared to date, focusing on 250 "cognitive-aware" leaders within "cognitive-active" companies.
Why this group in particular? Not only can early-phase signals from such early adopters provide a view from the front lines of these important developments, but many other executives are simply not yet sufficiently knowledgeable about cognitive technologies. So what did these leaders tell us?
The 2017 Deloitte state of cognitive survey
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Bullish on the possibilities
Our survey results indicate that early adopters are bullish on cognitive and AI technologies, with expectations that they will transform both companies and entire industries.
— 2017 Deloitte state of cognitive survey
When these technologies are effectively integrated into workflows, they can directly influence how organisations accomplish tasks, make decisions, create engaging interactions, and generate stronger business outcomes.
What cognitive technologies are included in this survey?
“Cognitive technologies” include machine learning, deep learning neural networks, natural language processing, rule engines, robotic process automation, and combinations of these capabilities for higher-level applications. The cognitive technologies discussed in this report include:
Ask early leaders in cognitive whether they're seeing results yet and what do they say? Eighty-three percent of respondents told us their companies have already achieved either moderate or substantial benefits from their work with these technologies. Something is working–and it's changing perceptions.
AI: Primary benefits to companies
Transformational or incremental change?
Survey respondents were split on the level of transformation that cognitive technologies will drive. A portfolio approach may be best for many companies—exploiting early opportunities to build capabilities and develop institutional support, while at the same time focusing on more transformational innovation in support of individual products, processes, or business models.
Cognitive advantage: Executives expect cognitive technologies to transform their companies...
Job loss? More like job shift
We also asked respondents about the impact of cognitive technologies on the workforce. The picture is, for the most part, highly positive. A significant majority of respondents say they've either added jobs related to cognitive technologies or have experienced little or no job loss arising from their cognitive projects so far—and they expect this pattern to hold over the next three years.
Apocalypse later? Minimal job losses for the near future
A workforce in flux over the longer term: AI predicted to cause both gains and losses
The more you do, the stronger outcomes you see
Although all the respondents profiled were experienced with cognitive technologies, some were more experienced than others. The most aggressive segment of respondents had implemented more projects, invested more, employed more sophisticated technologies, and was the most positive about their outcomes.
Economic benefits of AI increase with experience
Familiar growing pains
Cognitive technologies are still maturing. The vendor landscape is fragmented, there is still a shortage of talent, and many initiatives are only focused on internal functions within companies, rather than on developing new products or improving customer interactions. Integration with existing systems remains a principal challenge.
Will cognitive really change anything?
Those who have already begun adopting and using cognitive and AI technologies are highly enthusiastic about the role of these technologies in their companies, both today and in the future. Many of these companies feel that using AI is central to their ability to change their businesses and get ahead of their competition. None of our respondents believe that AI will fail to drive substantive change, either for themselves or their industry.
Cognitive technologies are becoming ubiquitous in the consumer world. Often without realising it, many of us use machine learning, RPA, machine intelligence, analytics, AI, natural language processing, image recognition, and similar capabilities in our personal lives. Innovative companies will apply their personal experiences to reimagine work within their companies.
Published: March 2018