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Microsoft: Companies “Hesitant” to Form AI Strategy But Say They Have One Anyway

Decision-makers at organisations find themselves in a “perennial cycle of discussion” or “analysis paralysis”, says an AI report from Microsoft.

By jonathan chadwick

Many organisations who claim to have an AI strategy in place are in reality still working on one.

That’s according to a new report on the state of AI adoption in UK workplaces from Microsoft, called Maximising the AI Opportunity.

Microsoft, who surveyed around 1,000 business leaders and 4,000 employees for the report, said that organisations struggle to incorporate AI solutions into their processes.

Many of these decision-makers find themselves in a “perennial cycle of discussion” or “analysis paralysis”, suggesting business leaders get AI fatigue before they’ve even implemented an AI solution.

“Leaders happily consider the potential that new technologies offer, but never quite get to a point at which they are willing to bite the bullet and adopt them,” the report reads.

“As with so many other business issues, overcoming this sense of inertia comes down to first identifying the business problem that needs to be solved.”Microsoft AI

Of the business leaders surveyed, 51 percent said they don’t have an AI strategy in place.

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This is despite 41 percent of business leaders holding the belief that their current business model will cease to exist in five years.

Organisations also remain hesitant to get on board with AI, not due to a lack of belief in the technology’s ability to help it function, but due to costs.

39 percent of the business leaders surveyed say they understand the development costs associated with AI.

A Place for Caution

The Microsoft AI report also outlined the importance of caution when implementing AI.

The company found that the most successful companies at introducing AI were the ones who originally demonstrated a healthy level of scepticism when doing so.

Successful AI adopters also understood that they would be unlikely to get it right the first time.

“Adoption takes the form of ongoing, iterative improvement, powered by an open, agile culture in which staff analyse and critique the technology as they use it,” the report says.Microsoft AI

“This allows them to help shape its development based on real experiences, ultimately delivering better outcomes for everyone involved.

Business leaders and employees need to make it clear why they need to adopt AI, and not just adopt it for the sake of it; “the key is to make the problem the starting point – not the AI.”

Elsewhere in the report, Microsoft found that 51 percent of employees and 49 percent of business leaders are not using any AI tech at work.

More than a third 37 percent of leaders surveyed said their organisation is not thinking about AI right now.

44 percent of staff trust their organisations to use AI “responsibly”, while 41 percent believe a widespread introduction of AI will force older workers to get left behind.

Read more: AI Bias “More Dangerous than Killer Robots”

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