Organizations are adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for its business benefits, not with the intention to eliminate jobs through automation, according to 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise (VoTE): AI & Machine Learning – Adoption, Drivers and Stakeholders 2018 survey on Thursday. The report surveyed approximately 550 IT end-user decision-makers from small, midsize, and large enterprises around the world.

Almost 50% of respondents had already deployed or planned to deploy machine learning in their companies within the next year. While many reports focus on the negative aspects of machine learning, the successes portray a more realistic picture of machine learning adoption in companies, Nick Patience, founder and research vice president for software at 451 Research, said in the press release.

SEE: Artificial intelligence: Trends, obstacles, and potential wins (Tech Pro Research)

Companies have instead seen incredible benefits from machine learning, with 49% reporting increased competitive advantages and 44% reporting improved customer experience, said the release. The survey shows that long-term impacts–like acquiring and holding onto new customers–are superseding the short-term effects accompanied with cutting costs, added the release.

“Despite all the hype around mass job losses, lowering costs was cited by only a quarter of our survey respondents,” said Patience in the release. “We think this demonstrates that AI and machine learning is an omni-purpose technology that can bring numerous benefits to organizations, beyond just lowering costs through increased automation.”

Even though machine learning proved to be successful for some companies, barriers to successful adoption still exist. Some 36% of respondents reported a shortage of skilled resources to be the largest barrier in adoption. However, this skills gap will most likely decrease as the tools become more familiar and integrated in companies, said the post.

Check out this TechRepublic article with advice on how to develop your AI and machine learning skills.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) give companies a competitive advantage and improve the customer experience. — 451 Research, 2018
  • While the advantages are significant, many employees lack the skills needed for machine learning and AI, but further integration and familiarity should close the skills gap. — 451 Research, 2018