Survey: AI implementation is moving too fast

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Covid-19 has sped up the adoption of artificial intelligence in the life sciences and healthcare, but business leaders are confident in its effectiveness, report finds

The Covid-19 pandemic has quickened the pace of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption, but many say it’s moving too fast, a new KPMG survey finds. Despite concerns about the speed of adoption, business leaders are confident that AI can help solve some of today’s most difficult challenges, such as Covid-19 tracking and vaccines.

In the new study, Thriving in an AI World, 77% of leaders in the life sciences and 67% in healthcare note that AI is at least moderately functional in their organizations. Findings regarding that same sentiment from other segments include: industrial manufacturing (93%); financial services (84%); tech (83%); retail (81%); and government (61%).

Traci Gusher, principal of AI with KPMG, suggests that “Leaders are experiencing Covid-19 whiplash, with AI adoption skyrocketing as a result of the pandemic. But many say it’s moving too fast. That’s probably because of current debate surrounding the ethics, governance and regulation of AI. Many business leaders do not have a view into what their organizations are doing to control and govern AI, and may fear risks are developing.”


Specifically, half of business leaders in industrial manufacturing (55%), retail and tech (49% in each) feel that AI is moving faster than it should be in their respective field. Worries about the speed of AI adoption are specifically pronounced among small companies (63%), business leaders with high AI knowledge (51%) and Gen Z and Millennial business leaders (51%).

Leaders from small (88%) and large (80%) companies say that AI technology has helped their company during the Covid-19 outbreak. As society continues to navigate the pandemic, life sciences and healthcare business leaders are overwhelmingly confident in AI’s ability to monitor the spread of Covid-19 cases (94% and 91%), help with vaccine development (90% and 94%) and distribution (90% and 88%), respectively.

However, business leaders are conscious that controls are needed and believe the government has a role to play in regulating AI technology: industrial manufacturing (94%), retail (87%), financial services (86%), life sciences (86%), tech (86%), healthcare (84%) and government (82%). Business leaders with high AI knowledge (92%) are more likely to say the government should be involved in regulating AI technology, in comparison to total business leaders (87%), the report finds.