Enterprise AI Still Early On: Business Leaders Are Unsure How AI will Impact Their Business


AI is seeping into different industries, slowly remolding the global competitive landscape. However, most business leaders still don’t know how machine intelligence will impact their businesses.

EY recently published a brief, which focuses the current state of AI. We interviewed Nigel Duffy, EY Global Innovation AI leader who co-authored the document with Chris Mazzei, EY Global Innovation Technologies Leader and Global Chief Analytics Officer.

The brief frames the current state of AI well: “Most organizations aren’t exploiting the potential of AI; they are just at the beginnings of their AI journeys. What should be holding companies back is a lack of talent, but it’s actually a lack of understanding of what’s possible – particularly at the top of large enterprises.”

Addressing the C-Suite disconnect

It’s often hard to imagine the impact new technologies will have on a business. Granted, AI is not new; however, due to recent research and developments, it’s finally at a point where more organizations are either using it in production or experimenting with it.

Some say AI is at an inflection point, namely, at the beginning stages of exponential “hockey stick” growth. If that’s true, the latecomers may find themselves blind-sided by competitors, simply because they didn’t think about and learn first-hand how AI would affect their own companies.

According to Duffy, part of the confusion stems from the fact that AI is a broad set of technologies as opposed to a single, coherent capability. Given the complexity of the landscape (machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, deep learning, neural networks, etc.), it’s not surprising that business leaders don’t have a clear understanding of how it will transform their businesses.

Also, the hype about AI is skewed. When new technologies hit the scene, evangelists and the media tend to focus on the opportunities and disregard the potential challenges. These skewed views fuel silver-bullet belief systems when silver bullets do not actually exist. It takes hands-on experience, including successes and failures, to truly understand the potential and limitations of a technology as applied to a specific business.

“It goes without saying that AI has the potential to completely transform business. I recently spoke on a panel about this topic at Fortune Global Forum in China, and everyone there, from prime ministers to chairmen of Fortune 500 firms, discussed the transformational potential of AI,” said Duffy. “There is a broad understanding that it is going to be transformational, but the challenge is that it requires work and investment to develop the strategy [and] vision to realize that potential.”

Read the source article at InformationWeek.