Are companies behind individuals in adopting AI technologies?

A recent survey from University Paris-Dauphine Chair of Digital Economy and Mediametrieshared yesterday at a Fondation Paris- Dauphine conference brings some interesting insight on the perception of Artificial Intelligence in France. While the surveyed population is largely aware of AI, there is quite a balanced mix of positive and negative perception. Also interestingly, while AI is acknowledged by respondents as already part of their daily personal lives, only a minority of respondents are aware of using AI in their workplace. Is this a perception gap or a reality?

During this conference facilitated by journalist Emmanuel Cugny, Professor Dominique Roux discussed the findings of this survey implemented with Mediametrie with a panel of speakers including Xavier DallozThierry Nicol from Avanadeand David Menga from EDFLab.

About the survey:

This survey has been performed in France during the week of April 5th, 2018, online, with 1094 respondents over 15 years old using MediaFit Omnibus methodology.

An impressive 86% of the respondents acknowledge been informed about Artificial Intelligence, for 57% is is perceived as positive innovation, while 49% expressed some concerns.

Only 6% expressed a strong antagonism and 7% expressed concerns about the reliability of AI. In this context of relative trust in AI, 56% of respondents were ready to rely on AI for diagnostic of benign health issues and 56% to read their X-Ray. Even 50% of respondents believe in AI artistic creation capabilities!

Respondents were 43% to express that AI is already impacting their day to day lives, identified at play when searching the internet (68%), using a GPS (60%), booking travel (46%) or securing transactions (43%). However, only 19% of respondents think they are using AI in their professional lives, while 56% believe they are not and 25% do not know. This is showing a real gap between adoption of AI in private life versus at the workplace, at least in term of perception. Not that they don’t see the interest of AI in business: 72% believe that AI can replace existing services like payment, administrative processes, security, IT, and even 73% that it can enable new services. Is this perception of a delay in business adoption a reality?

AI adoption by businesses is more complex than by consumers

The panelists discussing this question were inclined to confirm the respondents’ perception, and the relative overcautious of French companies to deploy AI technology for business purposes – if you exclude companies developing AI as the core of their business model.

Thierry Nicol mentioned several reasons for this slow adoption, including :

-Entry costs to implement AI solutions which make it expensive for SMB and midsize companies.

-Challenges of integration of AI in company processes and information system

-Concerns relative to the jobs and more generally social impacts.

How could companies approach the AI opportunity in France?

In order to jump on the train and get started with AI for business, the panelists recommended several paths to consider.

For Thierry Nicol, companies should think with relatively basic processes which can be automated, in order to free up employees from repetitive tasks which can be replaced by AI performing those tasks with better reliability, faster and continuously. Another key trend is to use AI as a new “user interface”, with bots that make employees life simpler at work as they start to do at home. Another use case of AI is to better exploit the mass of internal information produced by the company itself.

For Xavier Dalloz, one of the areas to prioritize is the retail business, where AI can play a major role in consolidation multi-channel information, mass personalization of the customer engagement, consumption-based models and assistance to the client in his decision process.

Adding to those perspectives, David Menga positioned AI as the technological arm of the “internet of me” , enabling personalized interactions, precision and support to decision making.

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