Why cybersecurity dominates concerns surrounding AI adoption

Even though artificial intelligence adoption is high, concerns regarding legal and ethical risks persist.

How tech leaders can combat bias in AI systems

Early adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) have seen significant returns and successes, according to Deloitte's State of AI in the Enterprise report released on Monday. The majority (82%) of AI adopters cited positive returns on their investments (ROI), according to a press release.

The report surveyed 1,100 US executives who have or plan on adopting AI. Specifically, the technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications companies all saw an impressive 20% median ROI for their work, added the release.

SEE: Malicious AI: A guide for IT leaders (Tech Pro Research)

While AI as a whole has seen high adoption levels, more complex technologies top the enterprise usage charts: Machine learning (63%), natural language processing (62%), computer vision (57%), and deep learning neural neural networks (50%).

"Many of the complex challenges businesses need to solve today require humans working with machines to gain advantage," said David Rudini, principal and chief analytics officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP, in the release. "In order to achieve true ROI from your AI investments, it requires defining specific business outcomes, and understanding the costs, cascading impacts, and talent implications at the onset."

When considering the impacts of AI, respondents cited cybersecurity as the top concern when it comes to executing AI projects. Some 32% of businesses professionals have experienced an AI-related breach within the last two years. In fear of more cybersecurity infiltrations, 30% of respondents have slowed initiatives, and one in five have opted to not launch an AI initiative, said the release.

Four in 10 respondents also reported legal and regulatory risks associated with AI systems as a major concern, according to the report. Ethical risks were also prevalent, with 32% rating it as a top-three worry. Some ethical risks included AI spreading false information, and the chance of bias in AI algorithms, said the release.

"Companies are excited about the potential of AI to improve performance and competitiveness--and for good reason," said Jeff Loucks, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Technology, Media, and Telecommunications, in the release. "But to reach this potential, companies must engage risk, address talent shortfalls and execute well. While AI's upside is significant, haste can leave companies with bridges to nowhere--pilots that don't scale or projects with no business benefit."

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Early adopters of artificial intelligence (AI) have seen massive returns on investments. -- Deloitte, 2018.
  • Regardless of high ROI, businesses still have major cybersecurity, legal, and ethical concerns regarding AI execution. -- Deloitte, 2018.

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