Only 20% of U.S. companies are fully deploying artificial intelligence (AI) for decision-making in their businesses based on survey responses from 1,000 senior business executives.
According to the news site Axios, 61% of organizations are just starting to adopt AI for decision-making, while 19% are categorized as having barely begun. Surveyed business leaders are hesitant to adopt AI because many organizations—particularly non-tech companies—“don’t completely trust it” and “can’t tap the talent they need.” However, businesses that decide not to adopt the technology risk falling behind.
“The majority of executives get stuck in a vicious circle where when they first try AI, the first wave of results tend to be underwhelming,” Ben Pring, managing director at Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, a consulting firm that conducted the survey, told Axios. “You have to work at it and you have to learn how to optimize it.”
Organizations need to hire professionals skilled in AI to solve the problem. However, competition for them is fierce. While there is an expectation among business leaders that AI should reduce their reliance on employees, the reality, according to Pring, is that they still need employees who know how to deploy the technology.
“If you can’t get that talent, then you can’t compete,” he said.
Want to be an Early AI Adopter? Train Your Employees
Businesses don’t need to hire externally for AI talent. Rather, they can simply train their current employees. According to Stephen Chen, Senior Vice President, Technology & Security, for NuCompass Mobility, a global relocation management company, there are three actions businesses can take to train their current workforce in AI:
- Educate your employees about the technological changes AI will bring and build a culture of positivity around the technology. “To build this kind of culture, you must communicate a steady stream of actual examples showing how automation and AI help individuals, teams and the organization be more successful,” Chen writes in Forbes.
- Prepare your employees for AI re-skilling and up-skilling by encouraging a “growth mindset” in which they learn to welcome challenges. This includes educating them about how developing AI skills will set them up for career advancement. “At NuCompass Mobility, we identify early adopters of new skills to ensure different business units have ‘automation champions.,’” he writes. “These automation champions help their peers gain an appreciation for automation technology as well as identify a pipeline of processes that can be evaluated for automation on an ongoing basis.”
- Identify AI use cases for automation that are worth the effort and eliminate those that are not. Use cases worth the effort will include those that reduce time waste, mundane, repetitive tasks, and tasks that tend to result in employee error. “Organizations must avoid the temptation to say ‘yes’ to every automation project,” Chen writes. He adds that starting small will garner trust in AI, noting: “We want employees to become invested in the journey and comfortable with the idea of automation and working alongside AI.”
Adapting your workforce to AI won’t be a simple task. Doing so will involve building employees’ trust in the technology and giving them the confidence to develop these skills. However, by creating a solid culture around AI and providing your employees with the right training, education, and mentorship, your organization will be well on its way to becoming an early adopter.
Establishing AI Standards for Your Organization
Artificial intelligence continues to spread across various industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and finance among others. It’s vital to keep in mind rigorous ethical standards designed to protect the end-user when leveraging these new digital environments. AI Standards: Roadmap for Ethical and Responsible Digital Environments, is a new five-course program from IEEE that provides instructions for a comprehensive approach to creating ethical and responsible digital ecosystems.
Contact an IEEE Content Specialist to learn more about how this program can benefit your organization.
Interested in getting access for yourself? Visit the IEEE Learning Network (ILN) today!
Chen, Stephen. (31 August 2021). Three Crucial Alignments To Enable Success In Automation And AI Initiatives. Forbes.
Walsh, Bryan. (9 August 2021). Exclusive: Businesses that lag on AI risk falling behind permanently. AXIOS.