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AI adoption hindered by skills and recruitment bottlenecks

(Image credit: Shutterstock / metamorworks)

There is now a wider acceptance of the importance of AI among businesses, but a shortage of relevant skills is standing in the way of adoption.

This is according to a new report from business training firm O’Reilly, which states that 19 percent of respondents cited lack of skilled people and difficulty hiring as their biggest roadblocks.

Breaking the results down further, it seems businesses are having the hardest time finding skilled workers in Machine Learning (ML) modeling and data science (52 percent). Understanding business cases (49 percent) and data engineering (42 percent) also proved problematic.

O’Reilly believes the talent gap could be one of the reasons the percentage of companies with AI products in production plateaued over the last year, hovering around 25 percent.

The talent shortage is far from being the only roadblock to the adoption of AI. O’Reilly has also found that many organizations struggle with having quality data to feed into the new systems.

As more organizations start realizing the importance of good quality data, the field will grow more mature, the report concluded.

"It’s no surprise that the demand for AI expertise has exceeded the supply—that's been predicted for years—but it’s important to realize that it’s now become the biggest bar to wider adoption,” said Mike Loukides, VP Content Strategy at O’Reilly.