33% of IT Decision
Makers are Implementing AI
June 12, 2017
IT Directors disagree over whether Artificial Intelligence will create
or displace jobs
decision makers are divided about the impact of disruptive technologies
such as AI and automation – the so called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’
- on the labor market, according to new research from BT.
Contrary to many reports which speculate about widespread job losses,
one third of organizations surveyed who plan to implement AI and
automation within the next two years believe it will create more jobs
within the workplace. This reflects the view that AI will generate new
opportunities for programmers, algorithm designers and software
engineers and create new job categories such as AI trainers, ethicists
However, the same proportion predict that these technologies could
result in job losses in their organization, given concerns that
innovations in robotics and intelligent computer systems may eventually
replace jobs traditionally done by humans, particularly those of a
manual, repetitive nature.
Against this uncertainty surrounding the impact of these technologies on
the jobs market, the survey of 1,501 IT decision makers across UK
organizations of all sizes revealed that AI and automation is already
being implemented by over a third of all respondents. For example, one
in four organizations are using automation technologies like drones,
robots or autonomous vehicles, with almost two thirds (63 per cent)
describing AI or automation technologies as being ‘very beneficial’ to
Around one in three IT decision makers are planning to invest in AI and
automation over the next two years, suggesting that businesses and
organizations across the country are gearing up to embrace these
technologies in the near future. Of these, 62 per cent believe that
their organizations will be more effective as a result.
The UK public sector also appears to be benefitting from the early
adoption of disruptive technologies.* 95 per cent of organizations that
operate within the UK public sector are already using at least one form
of disruptive technology, compared with 85 per cent of businesses
operating in the private sector. Furthermore, almost half of
organizations operating within the pubic sector have implemented big
data analysis, while 42 per cent of those operating in the private
sector are using this technology to date.
IT security concerns remain one of the biggest barriers to the adoption
of AI and automation. 44 per cent of organizations operating within the
public sector believe that greater automation will leave their
organization open to cyber-attacks, compared with 28 per cent of those
operating in the private sector. Within the private sector, larger
organizations are the most concerned about the impact of AI, with 40 per
cent identifying as it as the technology they consider to carry the most
risk over the next two years.
Colm O’Neill, managing director of major corporate and public sector at
BT, said: “This research gives us a fascinating insight into the early
adoption of AI, automation and other disruptive technologies in the UK
workplace. The findings illustrate the rapid pace of technological
change amongst organizations of all types and sizes.
“And while some organizations clearly view disruptive technologies as a
potential threat to the labor market, we believe the introduction of new
automated technologies and business processes will play to the strengths
of both people and machines.
“A good example of this is where BT’s world leading security team is
using Machine Assisted Cyber Threat Hunting to proactively identify
cyber security threats. This combines AI and big data techniques with
the use of human analysts who are critical in providing the context and
judgment needed to distinguish between anomalous and malicious
BT’s Machine Assisted Cyber Threat Hunting technology will be on display
at this year’s Innovation Week event at the BT Labs in Adastral Park,
Ipswich which is being held from 12 – 16 June. This combines AI and
visual interfaces for identifying and understanding cyber security
threats from petabyte-scale data. BT will present its latest work in the
field of Visual Analytics, where a machine based analytical pipeline has
been developed to automatically identify anomalous events on the network
which look suspicious. BT’s security analysts then use interactive and
visual tools to understand the AI reasoning in more depth and can
drill-down on the data in order to verify the result. This allows
analysts to identify advanced security threats more quickly, with a
fraction of the effort and with less specialist training.
has been using AI for many years both in its products and services as
well as in its systems and networks. The business was the first
telecommunications provider in Europe to use AI techniques in workforce
scheduling in the 1990s, to maximize the efficiency of its workforce.
Since then, the use of AI has been extended across workforce and
resource management in BT, which has received a number of awards for
this innovative work. BT has also used AI in other areas such as
automated network design, process optimization, cyber-security threat
detection and ‘nuisance call’ detection.
BT’s R&D program is now employing the latest in deep learning networks
(deep neural networks) in a range of applications which will help the
business transform its products and services and the way it manages it
networks and operations. To this end, BT has partnered with many of the
world leading universities, such as Cambridge and MIT, to ensure it
stays ahead in the application of AI.