cognitive technology survey


Cognitive technologies survey

Get insights from early adopters of cognitive and AI

What do 250 of the most aggressive adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies have to say about their efforts to date? From the impact on jobs to their specific goals and exactly which cognitive technologies they’re using, this report shares their views with the broader business world.

Bullish on the business value of cognitive

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?

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 organizations accomplish tasks, make decisions, create engaging interactions, and generate stronger business outcomes.

Download the 2017 Deloitte state of cognitive survey

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:

It's working

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.

Download the 2017 Deloitte state of cognitive survey to learn more.

Abstract numbers

What's next? 

Cognitive technologies are becoming ubiquitous in the consumer world. Often without realizing 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.

Meet the authors

Thomas H. Davenport
Independent senior advisor
Deloitte Analytics

Jeff Loucks
Executive director
Deloitte Center for Technology,
Media & Telecommunications

David Schatsky
Managing director, Innovation
Deloitte LLP

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