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Uncertainty over AI holding back UK industry adoption

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Businesses understand that employing artificial intelligence (AI) is vital to their long-term survival, but they’re struggling to set everything up because they lack the knowledge of how AI operates and what it can do.

This is according to a new report by Avaya Holdings and Vanson Bourne.

It says that 70 per cent of businesses understand the importance of AI, but less than a fifth (17 per cent) in the UK have a fully implemented AI strategy.

Knowledge gaps seem to be the biggest roadblock. A quarter (27 per cent) doesn’t understand AI because they feel the reporting on AI’s capabilities is not accurate. A fifth also claims that focusing too much on negative stories also leads to a lack of understanding.

Even if businesses somehow move past these roadblocks, they’re met with more challenges, as 35 per cent of organisations in the UK say they lack in-house skills to facilitate adoption.

“Many of our customers across the UK and Ireland come to us to discuss how they can deploy AI intelligently, and today’s research highlights the challenges UK businesses are facing,” says Gregg Widdowson, Customer Engagement Solutions Leader at Avaya UK and Ireland.

“They are stood at a cliff edge looking down into the water wondering if they will sink or swim with AI.”

Widdowson believes organisations should focus on AI applications that will leave the biggest impact on the customer journey – namely the contact centre.

AI can be so much more than chatbots,” continued Widdowson. “It can also be used to employ guided help, by handing off interactions to the best equipped human agent by matching the agent to the customer based upon to behavioural pairing or sales data. Whatever the use case, the best lesson organisations can learn with AI is to make their initial excursion a very narrow one. By keeping the purpose of AI very clearly defined, the route to success will be quicker and more attainable.”