Artificial intelligence, adoption is growing but the rules are missing

A study by Juniper Networks highlights the growth in importance and adoption of AI and ML technologies. However, clear rules and defined roles are missing. Posted on 27 June 2022 by Redazione

The great technological promise of the last decade, artificial intelligence, is now a reality declined in many sectors, and its adoption by companies is strong growth. However, there remain numerous question marks about the ethics and privacy implications of these technologies, and more trivially (but not too much) companies often lack skills and roles dedicated to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning projects, as well as the rules. This is the picture that emerged from a study by Juniper Networks, conducted in collaboration with Wakefield Research and carried out between March and April through 656 interviews with senior executives and company managers. In general, it has been seen that most companies have passed the experimentation and proof-of-concept phase, finally arriving at the actual adoption projects. The covid pandemic, with its well-known digital acceleration effects, has likely contributed. But the comparison with the situation of a year earlier is also evident: compared to the data that emerged from a similar survey by Juniper Networks (carried out in January 2021 and published a short distance away), the progress is remarkable. At the beginning of 2021, only 6% of C-lever leaders said they had adopted AI-based solutions in the company; between March and April 2022, however, 63% said they were at least well on their way to achieving their AI adoption goals.

And as many as 94% of the companies in the sample use artificial intelligence, at least to a moderate extent, to support decision-making processes. In addition, AI has been integrated into the management of computer networks for as many as 93% of the companies surveyed (use cases range from automatic bandwidth management to threat detection). Still small, but growing strongly (from 11% in 2021 to the current 27%) the share of those who in the future will adopt solutions in which AI will be the fundamental and enabling component.

The use cases of artificial intelligence in the companies of the sample Undeniably, artificial intelligence can bring advantages. 70% of companies that have incorporated AI into their network infrastructure have seen a better experience for end users, and the percentages go up a few points if you evaluate the experience of IT staff (75%) and network managers (74%). Executives tend to minimize the risk of negative impact on employees: for most senior managers, ai will allow IT staff to be more innovative (55% of European C-levels believe ), improve their career prospects (54%) and better focus on customer experience (52%).

"AI is ultimately designed to perform operations on a par with humans, but on a much larger scale thanks to automation," said Bob Friday, chief AI officer at Juniper Networks. "Many of Juniper's customers are using cloud AI in their networks to reduce support requests and thus free IT teams from the boredom of tactical tasks, allowing them to focus on improving the user experience."

"However," Friday continued, "even with all the positive aspects, companies must be able to responsibly manage the spread of AI with appropriate governance, so as to anticipate the requests of the legislator and minimize possible negative impacts. In Europe, for example, we see that the legislator is classifying certain AI use cases as dangerous, starting to require CE certification. AI regulations are changing rapidly, and companies need to consider governance as a strategic priority."

On this front, in fact, there is still a lot of work to be done. On a global scale, only 9% of IT leaders (and 10% in Europe) consider their company's governance and policy to be fully mature for AI issues, such as responsible standards and processes, or the appointment of an AI project manager. About half of the respondents, 48%, think that to effectively govern AI. There are also 35% of respondents who indicated the availability of data as the most critical component for the adoption of AI in their sector.

"In recent years," explains Laurence Pitt, global security strategist at Juniper Networks, "many European governments have begun to regulate the collection, storage and use of data, prompting organizations to take a more proactive approach to internal AI governance to anticipate the legislator and allow their AI solutions to expand securely. As a result, organizations are developing comprehensive data and AI governance policies to protect against possible financial and reputational damage. As the use of AI continues to grow, we will see more and more initiatives aimed at effectively managing and protecting it." According to interviews, one in two European companies will in the short term modify their training and staff development schemes to include skills on the management, development and use of artificial intelligence.