Press release №2239
12.12.2019
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND BUSINESS: ANY RELATIONSHIP?

IN BRIEF

  • An overwhelming majority (91%) of business representatives are aware of AI technologies
  • 43% of businesses do not use and are not going to use AI
  • The main reasons behind their reluctance to use this technology are the lack of need, the lack of knowledge and the need to make large investments into this field.

Most of the surveyed entrepreneurs are aware of artificial intelligence; however half of them are not going to use this technology in their companies.

MOSCOW, December 12, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) and the Project Office for the implementation of the Digital Economy program of the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation present the data of a study devoted to the attitudes of the Russian entrepreneurs towards Artificial Intelligence technologies (AI).

Most of entrepreneurs (91%) are aware of artificial intelligence technologies (AI). At the same time, 43% do not use and are not going to use AI in their companies. Almost one-third of businesses use AI (31%); nearly one-quarter (23%) are going to adopt these technologies. 

As to reasons why businesses are reluctant to use AI, most of them say that they do not need these technologies in general (37%); certain entrepreneurs say that they do not need it in their specific activities (28%). Every tenth respondent (11%) points to the lack of knowledge about AI; only 8% refuse to use AI because of huge financial costs.

Of all the companies using AI, 82% consider these technologies to be effective. The most common positive effects they bring are increased speed of operations (20%) and improved operational comfort (14%).

Sixty-nine percent of respondents say that there is a lack of qualified personnel in the AI sphere. They are mainly those who still do not use these technologies but make plans to adopt AI in their companies (83%).

However, not all the companies are going to invest in personnel training related to AI technologies; only 28% of businesses will embark upon such plans within two or three years.

Half of the surveyed entrepreneurs (42%) who use or are going to use AI consider that risks related to return on investments within five to ten years is rather low.

An overwhelming majority (91%) believe that the government should promote AI technologies, basically, by launching and financing the training programs (54% of entrepreneurs).

Russian VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted in October, 2019, and commissioned by Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation. Results are based on telephone interviews with 800 representatives of small, medium-sized, and large firms. A random sample based on a list of phone numbers belonging to businesses and individual entrepreneurs is used. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 3.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

Did you hear before, or do you hear for the first time about AI? If yes, how would you explain what it is?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents))
I heard about it;  I can explain it 77
I heard about it before but I cannot explain it 14
This is the first time I hear about it 9

Does your company use AI technologies? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents))
Yes, it does 31
No, but it plans to use them 23
No, and it does not plan to use AI technologies 43
Don’t know 3

Why does your company avoid using AI technologies?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of those who plan to use AI technologies)
We do not need it/ we are not interested in it / we have other goals and tasks 37
We do not need AI in our sphere of activities 28
Large financial investment 8
I have my small business/ small firm 6
In Russia these technologies are poorly developed 4
I do not trust modern technologies/ I prefer human labor 4
I know nothing about it 11
Other 2
Don’t know 3

At the moment how would you assess the effectiveness of using technologies?  closed-ended question, one answer, % of those representing companies using AI)  
Very effective 32
Rather effective 50
Rather not effective 9
Not at all effective 2
Don’t know 7

Reasons behind answers on effectiveness (open-ended question, one answer, % of those representing companies using AI)
Decreased time/high speed of operations 20
Easier/more comfortable/help 14
It is effective in solving certain problems 12
Process automation/failure minimization/structuredness and accuracy 10
High degree of efficiency, effectiveness/profit 8
"In tune with the time”/modern technologies / everything is developing / this is our future   6
It is used in general/used effectively 6
Effectiveness is not highest possible: program failures and errors are possible 6
Cutting costs on personnel/it is more profitable 2
Effectiveness is not highest possible:  it is expensive to have AI technologies   2
Other 4
Don’t know 5

As the owner of your company, do you think that the number of the qualified employees working in AI technologies is sufficient or insufficient today? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents))
  Total respondents Those who use AI in their companies Those who do not use but are going to use AI in their companies Those who do not use and are not going to use AI in their companies Don’t know
Rather sufficient  21 33 14 15 29
Rather insufficient 69 63 83 68 50
Don’t know 10 4 3 17 21

Does your company plan to raise employee skill levels in the field of AI technologies within the next two or three years? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents))
Yes, it does 28
No, it doesn’t 68
Don’t know 4

 

As the owner of your company, are you concerned, or not, that the spread and use of AI technologies by other companies will decrease the demand for the services offered by your company? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
I am greatly concerned 4
I am likely to be concerned 12
I am unlikely to be concerned 29
I am not concerned  at all 54
Don’t know 1

How would you assess the risks related to investments in AI: do you think that the current or planned investments in AI will pay back within the next five or ten years? Assess the risks using a five-point scale, with 1 meaning “almost no risks” and 5 meaning “extremely high risks”. (closed-ended question, one answer, % of those representing companies using AI / planning to use AI)
1 – almost no risks   25
2.00 17
3.00 21
4.00 8
5 – extremely high risks   9
Don’t know 20

In your opinion, should the government promote the development of AI technologies? If yes, in what way? (closed-ended question, any number of answers, % total respondents; answers of at least 2% of respondents)
Create and provide financial support for professional training programs 54
Introduce AI technologies  in healthcare and education 44
Introduce AI technologies in the system of state services   43
Offer financial support to companies developing AI technologies   42
Support personnel training programs 41
Improve legislation 35
Encourage organizations to adopt AI technologies 34
Government should not promote AI technologies 9
Government should unfetter private enterprises 2
Other   4
Don’t know 3
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