Is Europe ready for adoption of artificial intelligence?

A survey by Juniper Networks shows that organizations in European countries are preparing and promoting the learning and implementation of the technology more than other countries. Last week, the European Commission proposed draft legislation on AI  

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Juniper Networks, which operates in the field of secure, artificial intelligence-driven networks, published last week the results of an international survey that shows that while consumers and organizations are interested in expanding the use of artificial intelligence (AI), and although many executives define it as a leading strategic goal for 2021, there are still challenges hindering the adoption of the technology. The company conducted the survey among 700 opinion leaders in the world of IT who have a direct connection to AI, machine learning, and deployment of capabilities, as well as the perception and concerns regarding adoption of the technology in the organization where they work.     

In the corporate world, AI is only starting to be utilized to automate daily tasks such as chatbots for customer service, bank transactions and smart workflows for IT trouble ticket management. Actually, the research shows that 95% of all respondents believe their organization will benefit from integrating AI into daily operations, products and services. However, only 6% of C-level executives (163 of those surveyed in the study) reported adoption of AI-powered solutions in their organization today.

Additional statistics from the survey show that despite the challenges involved in AI, organizations that already adopted and harnessed the technology are showing significant and optimistic results. IT and operations are the two main fields in which organizations are utilizing AI today, with positive changes such as operational efficiency and enhanced user experience being seen.

The survey shows that European organizations are preparing and promoting the study and implementation of AI culture, while forming a strong foundation for the adoption of the next digital stage required for adoption of AI. Furthermore, 59% of executives from organizations in Europe believe that people control AI, but more needs to be done to control the growing technology more effectively. Thus, there are continuous efforts by Europe to control the technology while securing it in order to minimize existing and future risks.   

About 10 days ago, the European Commission proposed draft legislation regarding the use of artificial intelligence in an attempt to set standards for the technology controlled by the U.S. and China and to transform Europe into a trustworthy global hub in the field, in a way that "will guarantee the safety and fundamental rights of people and businesses, while strengthening AI uptake, investment and innovation." 

The draft legislation almost completely bans the use of the technology for mass surveillance, child exploitation or social credit scoring – a system that gives citizens grades according to their level of obeying the law, their economic situation, their purchases and more – which has been accelerating in China for a number of years, and been roundly criticized worldwide. Companies that breach the rules will be subjected to fines of up to 6% of their global turnover or 30 million euros, whichever is higher.  

"On artificial intelligence, trust is a must, not a nice to have," said Margrethe Vestager, EU commissioner for competition. "With these landmark rules, the EU is spearheading the development of new global norms to make sure AI can be trusted." However, Reuters reported that civil rights groups have already warned the EU of loopholes in the draft legislation that could promote anti-democratic regimes.

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