McKinsey State of AI 2022 highlights stubborn adoption plateau

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This has been announced by consultancy firm McKinsey State of AI 2022 report today, revealing key findings on the global use and adoption of AI over the past five years.

According to the report, AI adoption and investment have accelerated over the past five years, with companies reporting that AI has become a greater priority. AI adoption has more than doubled (20% to 50%) since 2017, with 63% of companies expecting investment in AI to increase over the next three years.

However, there is a noticeable plateau, with the number of organizations adopting AI fluctuating between 50 and 60 percent in recent years.

“One of the things that surprised me was the plateau in adoption,” McKinsey partner Michael Chui told VentureBeat. “We see the potential of this technology to create business value in virtually every industry and function and you would think adoption would continue to grow.


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Wide variety of AI capabilities and use cases

That said, among those adopting AI, many have increased the breadth of their capabilities. The results show that these leaders are making greater investments in AI, engaging in increasingly sophisticated practices known to enable scaling and faster AI development, and showing signs of improving in the tight market for AI talent. Respondents of AI high performers also say their organizations spend at least 20 percent of their digital technology budget on AI-related technologies nearly eight times more than their peers.

“We continue to see this divergence between those companies that we’ve described as AI high performers, who are really stretching their competitiveness, and all the others that need to catch up,” Chui said.

The problem is that no one is “unlocking” when it comes to generating AI value in the enterprise, Chui explains. “It’s not that if you just automate your data pipelines, value comes in,” he said. “In many cases, these won’t be technological solutions, but ‘people things’, whether it’s about having the right strategy aligned with your AI strategy, or getting the organization and the people in it to act differently based on of insights.”

The most common use cases, the McKinsey report found, are services optimization, creating new AI-based products, customer service analytics, and customer segmentation.

McKinsey State of AI Report 2022

Organizations must consider AI risks

A worrying finding from McKinsey’s State of AI 2022 report is the lack of progress in organizations’ reported mitigation of AI-related risks, such as bias, explainability or security.

“If you asked me five years ago, I would have thought that we would increasingly recognize these risks and therefore more and more companies would take action to manage or mitigate them,” says Chui. “The levels have not risen as much as I expected.”

But, he added, AI performers are usually already further along the path to understanding and managing these risks.

“Maybe that has to do with maturity,” he said. “There is also more history when it comes to managing risk in cybersecurity, for example.”

McKinsey State of AI Report 2022

The potential for AI lies in generating value for the company

The hottest roles for AI talent in 2022 were software engineers, data engineers and data scientists, the McKinsey report found, another “clear sign that many organizations have largely moved from experimenting with AI to actively embedding it in business applications.”

“We’re finding these high performers that have a lot of impact on the bottom line using these technologies,” Chui said, but he pointed out that it’s really about looking at the wide range of things that are needed beyond simply buying a piece of software or something. of cloud service to help your organization move forward.

“The potential for AI is in the things that drive value in the business,” he said. “For some companies it is operational excellence. In some other companies it is your customer intimacy.”

Today’s high-performing companies, he added, do. “They’re applying their AI efforts to the places that create the most value,” he said.

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