IT pros are not confident their organizations have the skills to take advantage of AI

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A survey that has examined the adoption and usage of intelligent assistants and AI chatbots in the workplace has been carried out by Austin, Texas-based technology network Spiceworks.

The advancement of AI across industries shows that this technology is becoming an integral part of workplace software across PCs and devices. But many companies still do not have appropriate policies and procedures in place to take advantage of this technology.

Read also: Are enterprises really ready for AI?

It surveyed 529 respondents from North America and Europe during March 2018.

The results show that, in the next year, 40 percent of large businesses with more than 500 employees said they expect to implement one or more intelligent assistants or chatbots on company-owned devices.

Just 25 percent for mid-size companies and 27 percent of small businesses expect to implement AI in their organisations.

Although adoption is on the rise, some organizations are holding back due to a lack of success stories across other businesses.

IT pros are not confident their organizations have the skills to take advantage of AI ZDNet
(Image: Spiceworks)

Across all company sizes, Microsoft Cortana is the most commonly used intelligent assistant in the workplace. Its adoption of 49 percent of organisations for work-related tasks is probably due to its native integration into Windows 10.

This is followed by Apple's Siri at 47 percent Google Assistant (23 percent), whilst 13 percent use Amazon Alexa.

But AI adoption does not seem to have spread across companies. According to the survey, AI assistants are mainly used in the IT department (53 percent).

IT pros are not confident their organizations have the skills to take advantage of AI ZDNet
(Image: Spiceworks)

A further 23 percent use AI to support their administrative department, and 20 percent use AI chatbots in the customer service department. Sixteen percent use AI chatbots in their sales and marketing departments.

AI chatbots and assistants are used to support team collaboration with one-in-four organisations (26 percent) saying that they use AI in this way. Around 46 percent use AI for voice to text dictation, and 24 percent use it for employee calendar management.

Another 14 percent use AI chatbots and assistants for customer service, and 13 percent use them for IT help desk management.

Read also: How ubiquitous AI will permeate everything we do without our knowledge

Not every organisation has embraced AI. The survey results show that half of respondents have not implemented AI due to a lack of use cases in organisations. Just 10 percent of respondents plan to build an AI solution in the next 12 months.

A further 29 percent or respondents are concerned about security and privacy concerns, and one-in-four respondents are reluctant to implement AI due to the cost.

Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks, said: "While AI has the potential to drastically alter life as we know it, the technology is still in its infancy. As a result, many companies aren't thinking about the tools and expertise they'll need to support artificial intelligence."

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