Unsurprisingly, no one at VivaTechquestioned Artificial Intelligence’s potential impact on our daily lives, however there is some doubt about how or when it will actually happen.

For instance, the sheer size of the future AI industry is subject to much debate, with some estimations for 2025 ranging from $126bn to five times that amount.

The same goes for AI’s effect on the job market. A study published in 2013 by two Oxford scientists argued that almost half of America’s jobs were “at risk” of being taken by robots. At VivaTech2017, McKinsey presented a more moderate view on the matter. According to the consultancy-funded think tank, 40% of current work could already be automated, but actually less than 10% of jobs can be 90% automated. In other words: AI is here to automate tedious tasks, not to steal entire jobs.

The estimations and debates around AI actually show one thing: we stand at the very beginning of our journey. Andreessen Horowitz’s Benedict Evans underlined machine learning is following the pattern of an “S” curve and is still in its infancy, which explains both the inflated hopes and fears. Companies, governments and individuals need to tackle the many opportunities and challenges that come with AI as early as possible. As the McKinsey presentation revealed AI is collectively “ours to shape and make a reality.”

Indeed, for all the things written and said about AI, most people seem to remain awestruck. McKinsey highlighted the fact that eight c-suite executives out of 10 do not know how to leverage it in their business. According to Roland Berger’s CEO, Charles-Edouard Bouée, this revolution calls for a radical change of mindset in companies so as to navigate a complex environment in which tomorrow’s behemoths have not yet appeared.

Author: Louis Morales Chanard, Global Strategy Director, Spark Foundry France