CAMBRIDGE, MA— A new global study conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) dispels some key myths around AI. For example, while easily documented cost savings are a classic way of garnering support for further investment, the finding here is that all but the most passive organizations anticipate AI will pay off most on the revenue-generating side.
The MIT SMR and BCG study, titled “Artificial Intelligence in Business Gets Real,” is based on findings from the second annual global survey of more than 3,000 business executives, managers, and analysts from organizations around the world. The survey, conducted in spring 2018, captured insights from individuals working in organizations of various sizes, spread across 29 industries and located in 126 countries, and supplemented by 35 executive interviews. The study splits the organizations surveyed into four groups: (1) Pioneers are enterprises that have extensive understanding of AI tools and concepts and significant levels of AI adoption. (2) Investigators understand AI but have limited adoption. (3) Experimenters have adopted AI but with limited understanding of it. (4) Passives have limited adoption and understanding of AI.
The other myths the study contradicted include the following:
Reality: Fully 88% of Pioneers invested more in AI than in the previous year, compared with 62% of other groups. Pioneers are widening the gap with others.
”The companies that see the potential and opportunities with artificial intelligence are deepening their commitment,” said David Kiron, executive editor of MIT SMR and coauthor. “They’re following a thoughtful strategy, and they’re growing their teams to consolidate their leadership in this area.”
Added coauthor Philipp Gerbert, senior partner and leader of AI in Business for BCG, “Pioneers move beyond individual AI use-cases toward AI at scale. To reap the benefits of AI, they have started to transform their businesses.”
A media company based at the MIT Sloan School of Management, MIT Sloan Management Review’s mission is to lead the conversation among research scholars, business executives, and other thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology, that are transforming how people lead and innovate. MIT Sloan Management Review captures for thoughtful managers the creativity, excitement, and opportunity generated by rapid organizational, technological, and societal change.
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