AI implementations accelerated due to COVID-19 pandemic, says KMPG survey

But executives at multiple industries are starting to squirm over the pace of AI adoption.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Adoption of artificial intelligence accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many business leaders are concerned that AI deployments are moving too fast, according to a KPMG survey.

The KPMG survey, Thriving in an AI World, found that AI has accelerated across all industries with financial services, retail, and technology adopting the technology the most. The KPMG survey covered 950 business and IT decision-makers with at least a moderate amount of AI knowledge.

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When it comes to AI adoption by industry, the following sectors say the technology is at least moderately functional.

  • Industrial manufacturing with 93 respondents saying AI is at least moderately functional.
  • Financial services were 84% followed by tech at 83% and retail at 81%.
  • 77% of life sciences executives said AI was at least moderately functional followed by healthcare at 67% and government at 61%.
  • 72% of industrial manufacturing decision-makers said that COVID-19 accelerated AI implementations.
  • Financial services, retail, and technology showed the biggest year-over-year swings in AI adoption, according to KPMG.

However, half of the business leaders in industrial manufacturing (55%) and retail and tech (49% each) said AI is moving faster than it should. Sixty-three percent of small companies were concerned about AI adoption with 51% of executives with high AI knowledge concerned, said KPMG.

Other key findings from the KPMG report include:

  • 88% of small business executives and 80% of large enterprise leaders said AI helped their companies during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Life sciences (94%) and healthcare (91%) executives were confident that AI could monitor the spread of COVID-19 cases.
  • 93% of financial services leaders were confident that AI could detect fraud, up from 85% a year ago.
  • 92% of business leaders with high AI knowledge wanted more government regulation for AI technology. Financial services, retail, and tech were the industries citing the need for regulation.

Forty-seven percent of retail executives said that cybersecurity breaches were the biggest risk for AI adoption with 45% citing bias.

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