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Despite Skill Gap, AI Adoption Rate is on the Rise: Study

Lack of skilled talent and data silos have continued to hinder businesses from harnessing artificial intelligence (AI). Yet, the AI adoption rate is on the rise, according to an IBM survey.

Smaller companies are lagging behind their larger rivals on their way to adopt AI, mostly because of the substantial expenses they incur to hire talent. Interestingly, some companies have deployed their non-technical staff to work with AI in their desperate effort to make use of the technology.

Around 37% of respondents cited limited AI expertise or knowledge as a roadblock to their adoption, with increasing data complexities and silos (31%) and lack of tools for developing AI models (26%) being other significant hindrances.

The study found 45% of large firms and 29% small and medium-sized businesses adopting the technology.

It seems the advances in data discovery & management and the ongoing skill training programs have somehow managed to push the AI adoption rate higher these days. “These numbers are significantly higher than some industry watchers have estimated to date,” the report noted, adding that “almost 3 in 4 businesses surveyed are in the AI game.”

That’s because some companies are trying hard to overcome the talent shortage by persuading their non-technical staff to work with AI.

“Of the companies currently exploring AI, 41% report that non-technical staff is working with AI, suggesting these companies are moving beyond small experimentation and toward full integration of the technology. Of the companies that have deployed AI, over two-thirds report non-technical staff is directly working with AI,” the report noted.

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Based on these insights and hundreds of client interactions, Rob Thomas, General Manager, IBM Data and AI, anticipates adoption of AI in the corporate world will climb dramatically over the next 18 to 24 months, exploding to 80% or even 90%.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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