Survey: Artificial Intelligence in Business Decision Making

Artificial Intelligence is all the rage. And, the news cycle has been in full swing for so long that most of us are onboard that real AI-related technologies are becoming more of a reality everyday. However, many are still wondering how and if AI can be practically applied to their own businesses. They also are unsure if the positives will outweigh the negatives.

In an effort to pin down exactly what executives think about AI and their plans to deploy AI-related technologies (or not), we asked 400 sales executives in the business executives in the U.S. and U.K.: “What do you think about AI?” Here are the highlights of what our survey found:

  • The majority of respondents (63 percent) plan to use AI in their organization in the next two years. However, almost one-quarter (23 percent) are unsure they will. A minority (15 percent) said they will definitively not.
  • U.S. participants said they are more likely to deploy AI (69 percent vs. 57 percent of U.K. participants). U.S. participants are more likely than U.K. participants to say they would want AI to help with communication with customers (54 percent) or planning their day (46 percent).
  • When asked about AI-related technologies, respondents rate machine learning, voice-capable intelligent digital assistants, and natural language processing as potentially “very helpful.” They rated customer service chatbots as “somewhat helpful.”
  • Top concerns about AI revolve around trusting the technology. More than one-half say they worry about data security, with 30 percent saying it is their top concern. Another 40 percent say they fear AI technology will make errors, and 41 percent fear losing control over the data.
  • While 30 percent said they fear job loss because of AI, only 12 percent list it as their top concern.

In general, the survey showed that younger participants, those 34 or younger, are more excited and less fearful of AI. Younger participants are more likely to say their organization will utilize it in the future (70 percent). Those respondents 55 or older are more likely to worry about being overwhelmed with features they do not need. (Fifty-five percent list this as a concern compared to 24 percent of those aged 18-54.)

artificial intelligence in business decision making

So, what do these results tell us? Clearly, we are still early in the adoption curve. There is a group of early adopters that is jumping in with both feet and a group of naysayers who are absolutely against the technology. The rest of us are in the middle. Many have heard all the hype and are intrigued, but they would like some assurances that the positives will outweigh the negatives before they are ready to start spending money on AI tools.