Artificial intelligence is being pursued by many Silicon Valley companies, but advancements in the nascent technology are hitting a standstill due to lack of talent, according to a recent study.
More than half of executives at companies working with artificial intelligence (AI) say the lack of qualified workers prevents them from implementing business operations, according to a recent study by Ernst & Young, which polled a few hundred senior AI professionals in the Bay Area.
"This year, as businesses strategized how to integrate AI into their operations, they were hampered by a shortage of experts with requisite knowledge of the technology," Ernst & Young chief analytics officer Chris Mazzei said in a press release. "This serves to demonstrate that successful AI integration is not just about the technology, it's about the people."
EY's study also found that 41 percent see gender diversity of existing AI talent influencing machine biases.
The in-demand technology is used in everything from banking to autonomous vehicles. According to the CITE Research survey, business executives‚?? current interest in AI is focused on machine learning, voice-capable intelligent digital assistants and natural language processing, all of which were rated "very helpful" in the survey.
2016 investment in AI came in at $39 billion - a three-fold increase from 2013, according to McKinsey & Co. study
. Tech giants including China's Baidu and Mountain View-based Google spent between $20 billion to $30 billion on AI in 2016.
"Organizations have come a long way on the AI learning curve, and we expect the pace of adoption to accelerate in 2018," stated Nigel Duffy who is head of EY's global innovation AI. "The aspirational goal of AI is to take intelligence and put it into machines. To be successful, leaders should identify a business challenge and then determine where the technology can solve this problem ‚?? but this can only be realized with the support of AI-savvy professionals who can identify AI opportunities in their business."
Typical AI specialists, which include newly-graduated Ph.D.s and those with just a few years of experience, can rake in a salary of $300,000 to $500,000 a year, according to a recent New York Times report. Salaries are growing so quickly that there have been joking references to the National Football League-style salary cap on AI professionals.
"Looking to 2018, organizations should prioritize talent acquisition and cultivation - both by recruiting individuals with strong technical backgrounds and investing in skills and training programs to help retain and foster leading AI practitioners," stated Mazzei.
Source: Business Journals