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Productivity Sighted as AI's Biggest Benefit

November 8, 2017

Results of a new survey shares perspectives on artificial intelligence (AI) in the United States and United Kingdom. With 43 percent of US consumers and 46 percent of UK consumers stating they have ‘no idea what AI is about,' there is a clear need for education on this much talked about technology that has the potential to unlock incumbent productivity issues.

Optimism and Ethics - An AI reality Check

Sage's report, "Optimism and Ethics - An AI reality Check" examines major public concerns about AI and unpacks what consumers and the tech community believe to be the greatest areas of potential impact. Of the thousands surveyed, the majority of respondents were optimistic about the potential for AI to manage both personal and professional tasks. However, the data clearly demonstrates the need for more education on the new opportunities AI can create to increase productivity and help build businesses.

"We're often presented with stories of robot takeovers as if AI is something to fear, but our research shows that this narrative is largely rejected by consumers and tech professionals alike," said Kriti Sharma, VP of AI at Sage. "The study also reveals that both consumers and technologists are optimistic about the future of AI and the potential for it to eliminate menial tasks. However, people still don't fully understand what AI is and how it can help them - for me this is the real danger. AI has the potential to improve our quality of life, revolutionize productivity and impact the GDP of the country, but this potential can only be realized if we embrace to opportunity responsibly, and with both hands."

Supporting Business Builders

As AI adoption continues to grow, so too does the need for education and ethical AI creation, which 56% of respondents identified as "very important" when developing new technology. Sage, the champion of business builders, has long been a proponent of ethical AI creation, releasing their "Ethics of Code" guidelines—a manifesto with five pillars for responsibly creating new intelligence. The company puts these guidelines into practice with Sharma spearheading the development of the Pegg framework. As part of Sage Business Cloud, this solution is the world's first virtual assistant managing everything from money to people, with users in 135 countries.

Given the clear opportunity for economic impact, Sage is collaborating with influential, international bodies in the United States and the United Kingdom to address this lack of knowledge, promoting education on ethics, talent and diversity in AI.

"Businesses who do not embrace and adopt AI technology will get left behind," Sharma continued. "The tech community must educate current and future business builders about the opportunities AI presents. And no education will be complete without also addressing the responsibilities associated with ethical development and diversity in AI."

Representing the AI community

In October, Sharma will attend two important events to ensure the impact of AI on business is represented by someone at the front line of this important engineering field. Sharma was invited to attend the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit as a civic leader, bringing her vast knowledge of AI and passion for ethical AI creation to the table. Sharma will also give evidence before the UK Parliament's Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence to represent businesses of all sizes and make recommendations to the UK government, urging companies to adopt a universal code of ethics that self-govern the development of AI. In addition, Sharma will address the grassroot skills gap at the heart of AI that has the potential to hold the technology back if not addressed quickly.

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