AI News Index: Worried About Government Data Collection For Covid-19 Contact Tracing?

Recent surveys, studies, forecasts and other quantitative assessments of AI highlight the current state of adoption of AI by enterprises worldwide, the future of deep learning, and consumers’ attitudes regarding Covid-19 contact tracing.

AI enterprise adoption

Vanguard’s robo-advisor has $150 billion under management; Pfizer has about 150 AI projects, many in marketing and sales—but not in drug development; CapitalOne has about 1000 AI projects, mostly in machine learning for credit, risk, marketing; and Google/Alphabet has several thousand AI projects in search, ads, autonomous vehicles, etc. [Tom Davenport]

30% of enterprises have multiple AI applications in general production; 36% are still in the development stage with their AI programs; 55% said they were “pioneers” of AI deployment, learning about AI as they engaged with the technology; security is top concern (48%); top expected benefit is greater efficiencies within IT operations (49% of large companies and 31% of smaller companies) [Informa Tech, InformationWeek and ITPro Today survey of 300 technology decision makers in North America]

73% of businesses consider AI critical to their success (up from 68% in 2019) but 49% feel their company is behind in their AI journey; 82% are leveraging AI within their business but 14% of companies reported not leveraging AI in any capacity; the number of organizations reporting AI budgets greater than $5 million doubled from 2019 to 2020; in 2020, 4 times as many respondents reported using global cloud machine learning providers, identifying all major cloud providers: Microsoft Azure (49%), Google Cloud (36%), IBM Watson (31%), AWS (25%), and Salesforce Einstein (17%); 40% report that lack of data or data management were of the biggest roadblocks to AI success [Appen survey of 374 business executives]

Automation technologies and practices that will play a significant role in organizations’ resilience over the next two years: customer service automation (69%), employee service automation (54%), supply chain automation (39%), and Robotic Process Automation (37%) [Inference Solutions survey of 503 U.S.-based IT decision makers]

CIOs expect spending on AI, machine learning and process automation projects will increase around 7% this year, down from their first-quarter expectation of an increase of about 11%; CIOs expect their overall technology budgets to decline by 4.4% this year, down from an expected 3.5% growth earlier this year [WSJ on Morgan Stanley survey of 100 U.S. and European CIOs conducted in May and June]

93% of chief analytics officers and chief data officers say ethical considerations must be dealt with to drive AI adoption within their organizations; 67% don’t monitor their models to ensure their continued accuracy and prevent model drift; 65% say building a team with the right skills is a large or medium barrier to AI adoption [FICO and Corinium survey of more than 100 c-level analytic and data executives]

The future of deep learning

An analysis of 1,058 research papers that aimed to understand how deep learning performance depends on computational power in the domains of image classification, object detection, question answering, named entity recognition, and machine translation, found that computational requirements have escalated rapidly in each of these domains and that these computational requirements will rapidly become technically and economically prohibitive. It concludes that progress along current lines is rapidly becoming economically, technically, and environmentally unsustainable and that continued progress in these applications will require dramatically more computationally-efficient methods, which will either have to come from changes to deep learning or from moving to other machine learning methods [arXiv]

The Life of Data, the fuel for AI

74% of Australians, 81% of Germans, and 84% of Americans are worried that data collection for Covid-19 containment will sacrifice too much of their privacy; 86% of Americans worry their data will be used for purposes other than Covid-19 and 81% worry their data will be used to serve advertisements to them; 78% of Americans don’t think consumer hardware companies like Apple, Fitbit, or Amazon track their biometric data; 75% believe streaming services like Netflix and Hulu do not collect information about their online media consumption; 59% of French respondents, 52% of UK respondents, and 49% of Americans do not think social media companies are tracking their posts; 37% of survey respondents said they would not be willing to share data with companies even if they were financially compensated and 27% are unsure if payment is worth it to sacrifice their data; consumers are concerned that the government tracks consumer data: Germany (74%), the Netherlands (73%), and the U.S. (70%); consumers are hesitant to share their data with law enforcement agencies—only 22% of Germans and 24% of Americans are willing to do so; 23% of Americans think the government collects data about their offline conversations [Okta and Juniper Research survey of 12,000 people in six countries: Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States]

Americans are less willing to trust the government with private data than most other countries. Just half of those in the U.S. say they would be willing to share more data with the government to help track and contain the Covid-19 than they would otherwise. Only France (47%) and Japan (44%) had lower rates of willingness to share. Chinese citizens are most trusting, with 91% saying they would provide more data to the government. About three-quarters of citizens in India and Saudi Arabia would be willing to share, along with about half of those in Canada and Germany [Edelman Trust Barometer 2020]

While nearly 60% of Americans say they will voluntarily self-report to assist with Covid-19 tracking, only 40% say they trust others to do the same; the U.S. government is the least trusted entity, with only 31% saying the federal government can be trusted to collect and protect personal information and data for contact tracing; 32% trust private sector companies and 38% trust state and local governments [IBM]

42.5% of cybersecurity executives say they would at least consider paying ransomware [WSJ survey of 389 companies]

AI funding

The most well-funded US artificial intelligence startups are UiPath, with over $1.2 billion in disclosed equity funding, including a $225 million Series E in July 2020, followed by Indigo Ag ($1.1 billion) and Nuro ($1 billion); 14 U.S. AI startups have raised fresh infusions of capital this year, while 16 companies last raised funding rounds in 2019 [CBInsights]

Israel’s AI startups raised $320 million in private funding in June across 23 funding rounds [StartupHub.ai]

AI market forecasts

The global healthcare robots market will grow from $1.9 billion in 2019 to $5.4 billion by 2025 [Omdia]

The global AI software market is expected to grow at a 34.9% CAGR to reach nearly $100bn in 2025 [Omdia]

AI quotable quotes

“The data is moving slower than the disease”—Dr. Umair Shah, “Bottleneck for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine,” The New York Times

“We truly believe that the companies that are going to be winners in any space are ones that can leverage data the right way”—Mojgan Lefebvre, chief technology and operations officer, Travelers

“[Investors] really welcome that story of a completely new approach to an old industry”—Tim Bixby, CFO, Lemonade

Source: AI News Index: Worried About Government Data Collection For Covid-19 Contact Tracing?

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