Lack of Skilled Workers, the biggest roadblock to AI adoption
Universally there is agreement that artificial intelligence offers the promise of revolutionary benefits, recent survey findings from Gartner reveal almost 60 percent of organizations surveyed have yet to take advantage of the benefits of AI. Only a little more than 10 % of surveyed businesses have deployed or implemented any AI solution at all. CellStrat also tried researching Indian businesses but we were surprised to see that only probably 12 out of 50 odd companies responded positively to our survey and that too conservatively.
Based on Gartner’s survey, there seems to be a gap between AI’s promise and the ability for an enterprise to implement it. A further confirmation of that point is the finding that close to half of the surveyed organizations state they prefer to buy pre-packaged AI solutions or use AI capabilities already embedded in their applications. This shouldn’t be a surprise as end-user organizations are looking to use AI to help better solve business problems. They aren’t looking to simply buy AI technologies as an end in itself.
A vital factor is driving the preference for pre-packaged AI or AI-embedded applications. Many businesses aren’t prepared to enact a custom solution themselves due to a lack of in-house skills.
Gartner’s analysis has concluded that the skills gap is the most significant barrier to AI adoption. The respondents to CellStrat survey too showed interest in knowing more about various technologies used in AI while also asking if and how they can train their own in-house teams on AI technologies, if required.
Respondent organizations are in the very early stages of their AI projects. In fact, Gartner discovered that many organizations are still struggling to move from descriptive analytics toward foundational machine learning solutions.
Another discovery from Gartner’s research is that the organizations implementing AI solutions are not just those that label themselves as “aggressive,” using cutting-edge technologies. In fact, more than half of their survey participants that reported implementing AI solutions label their organizations as “mainstream” — organizations that typically wait for technologies to mature.
AI: Topic of the day in both – all board rooms and conferences alike
Businesses have a strong interest in AI — inquiries from Gartner’s clients to discuss AI topics have quadrupled from 2015 to 2017. In January 2016, the term, “artificial intelligence” didn’t even make it into their top 100 search terms. A year later, it ranked at No. 11, and in May 2017 it was at No. 7. This provides proof there is keen interest in understanding how AI can be used as part of a digital business strategy.
That said, about one-third of Gartner’s survey respondents claim to face challenges in defining their AI strategy. This makes sense, given that 59 percent of organizations are still in the knowledge-gathering stage. Security and integration were also reported as challenges (30 percent and 27 percent, respectively), primarily by organizations in the knowledge gathering-strategy development stage. CellStrat too is getting many queries from businesses for training their employees on AI technologies or in helping them develop their proof of concept (POC) projects.
Time to go to school
We found that while organizations continue to have difficulties finding experienced data scientists for advanced analytics projects, it’s even harder to find employees skilled in AI techniques such as deep learning. One major reason that we at CellStrat feel is the complacency among minds of most IT professionals in the industry. They are too comfortable in their careers to be willing to up-skill themselves in this difficult domain. We have even heard the from some senior level executives and project heads that employees demand to see the projects in companies before which they are not willing to undergo even company provided training. But this is not the end, there are others too who are aggressive in their careers and training on new technologies almost all the time to be able to compete with the global talent pool.
Much of AI innovation is happening at the university level, and the graduating students are aspiring to join or already joining cloud AI providers such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft or launching their own start-ups to take advantage of investments from the venture capital community.
Many businesses are therefore seeking to update their in-house skills while professionals and students both are aggressively signing up for courses both online and offline for getting trained in data science and ML coding skills.
Colleges and Universities should take up courses for their students in data science and AI specializations. Enterprises should hire skilled students from such universities with AI specialization or project/ internship experience. Ideally, they should look for students about to receive their BE and MS degrees in advanced data science and machine learning. They also should emphasize staff retraining and use rapid prototyping as a way to not only build team skills but also to showcase the benefits of AI to upper management.
Apple has announced that they will for the first time join in the Indian campus placement tradition. The tech giant will evaluate tech graduates in the upcoming placement round at IIIT Hyderabad, Times of India reports. Most of the hiring will be for Apple’s Hyderabad and Bengaluru facility. About 350 students have registered for the institute’s placement season, where skills such as AI, data science, automation and deep learning are said to be in big demand. Apple said last year it would create up to 4,000 jobs in India for its map offering. Good time to invest in Data and GIS skills as well.
AI allows organizations to add intelligence to applications, services, and digital resources. Application leaders must establish when to use AI and how to address the challenges it will present to customers and employees.
CellStrat is working in training and solutioning space and working with some students and professionals to develop some POCs as well as training corporate employees, independent professionals and students in AI field. Our next workshop is lined-up in Gurgaon on 11th. Nov. Join us for:
It will give the attendees a jump-start in their learning of ML technologies and enable them to join our large Disrupt4.0 community of AI enthusiasts and professionals from all across the world.
(Src: Excerpted from Venturebeat)