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AI is the most promising tech for businesses but a skills shortage stands in the way, studies show

 Companies are excited for AI but a skills shortage  and cost of implementing the technology could hinder rollout
Companies are excited for AI but a skills shortage and cost of implementing the technology could hinder rollout Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Pascale Davies
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More than 60 per cent of businesses said AI is the most promising technology, followed by cybersecurity and cloud computing.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) brings with it a wealth of opportunities for businesses, and it is the technology they are most excited about. But the digital skills gap could delay companies using it, according to two new studies.

More than 95 per cent of over 1,000 companies in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States said the integration of new technologies is crucial for their competitiveness, according to a study by Paris-based tech and start-up event Viva Technology (VivaTech) and consultancy company Wavestone.

More than 60 per cent of the companies said AI was the most promising technology, followed by cybersecurity and cloud computing.

“It means that today, they've grasped the stakes and are ready for action,” said François Bitouzet, Managing Director of VivaTech.

“What slows them down is not the financing, it's more a question of talent. They [businesses] tell us that 45 per cent of them are afraid of not having the talent to carry out these digital transformations,” he told Euronews Next.

Another report by Amazon Web Services (AWS) found that AI adoption is forecast to unleash €600 billion growth in Europe's economy, but small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) said they had significant barriers to adopting the technology due to finding the right talent, regulatory concerns, and the cost of implementation.

“Europe stands on the brink of an unprecedented opportunity,” said Tanuja Randery, Managing Director of AWS Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

“Businesses recognise the benefits of AI to their growth and productivity. SMEs account for more than half of Europe’s GDP, and confronting the challenges that are holding back their digital journey is vital”.

Ethics and regulation

“To achieve AI’s full potential, it is imperative that Europe delivers the digital skills support and regulatory certainty to support the ambitions of businesses of all shapes and sizes”.

The VivaTech study also showed that it was not just implementing AI that concerned companies.

The errors, disinformation, and fake news that can transpire with AI also worry them, with 77 per cent of firms saying they should act responsibly if using AI and that privacy and ethical issues are also important to them.

“They expect regulation and a regulatory framework and that, for them, is very important,” said Bitouzet, adding that “they believe that governments have a role to play in establishing a level playing field, one that is the same for everyone”.

As for the technologies that were proving less popular, blockchain took a hit with cybersecurity, AI, and cloud computing becoming a bigger priority for companies.

But paradoxically, AI could breathe new life into technologies like blockchain.

“One of the subjects of generative artificial intelligence is the possibility of creating images and fake news,” said Bitouzet.

“I think that artificial intelligence is going to give a new meaning to what blockchain is all about, verification and authentication in an industrial way because we're going to need industrial solutions to know what's true and what's false”.

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