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69% of executives expect minimal to no job loss with AI adoption

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In recent years, there has been a growing concern that machines will replace human workers.

Contrary to this public sentiment, a Deloitte report titled, Bullish on the Business Value of Cognitive: 2017 Deloitte State of Cognitive Survey, revealed that 69% of executives expected minimal to no job loss within the next three years as they embark on AI-related efforts.

Another more than one in four respondents (29%) saw the addition of new jobs taking place in the same time frame with the adoption of AI and cognitive technologies. Additionally, when looking at perceived benefits of AI and cognitive technologies, workforce reduction was ranked the lowest (22%).

In fact, 63% already had training programs underway for employees to learn how to develop cognitive technologies or work alongside them.

Additionally, the survey found that 37% of companies have invested $5 million or more in AI and cognitive technologies, with investments primarily geared toward information technology (64%), product development/R&D (44%), and customer service (40%).

The survey further revealed that nearly all survey respondents (92%) believed cognitive technologies are an important aspect of their internal business process and 87% reported it will play a significant role in improving their products and services.

Overall, three in four (76%) believed AI and cognitive technologies will substantially transform their organisations. Moving forward, nine in 10 (90%) saw them playing a larger role in shaping company strategy.

Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert, said: “There is a concern that ‘the rise of the machines’ will replace human workers, but we should look at how people and machines can work in collaboration as co-bots. The ability to leverage new technologies to retool our workforce will ultimately lead to new opportunities to build high value skills for our workers.”

Ryan Renner, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Deloitte’s cognitive advantage leader, advised: “Organisations today that want to create a cognitive advantage should reimagine when, why and how humans and machines work together to achieve better outcomes.

Cognitive technologies are disrupting how organisations conduct tasks, make decisions and complete interactions internally; and with their customers. The true value is created by knowing how to apply the technologies most effectively within the context of your business, marketplace, corporate culture and industry.”

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