Last year, about 7 percent of EU companies with at least ten employees used artificial intelligence, according to the European statistical office Eurostat. Companies in Ireland are the most active in this respect, while companies in Latvia use artificial intelligence the least. With 6 percent, the Czech Republic is slightly below the EU average.
“Artificial intelligence is an area of strategic importance and a key driver of economic development. It can bring solutions to many societal challenges from treating diseases to minimizing the environmental impact of farming. Artificial intelligence gives machines the capability to analyze their environment and make decisions with some degree of autonomy to achieve specific goals,” Eurostat stated.
While 2 percent of companies used machine learning to internally analyze large data, 1 percent of companies analyzed data internally using natural language processing, natural language creation, or speech recognition. Two percent of companies also used a chatbot — a communication robot or a virtual assistant — to answer customers using natural language.
Also, 2 percent of companies used robots with some form of autonomy, for example for cleaning, dangerous or repeatable activities such as removing toxic substances, sorting goods in the warehouse, or helping customers with shopping or payment.
Of the EU member states, some of these four forms of artificial intelligence are mainly used by companies in Ireland as 23 percent of them used AI last year. Companies in Malta, Finland, and Denmark also use these opportunities more than the EU average. At the opposite end is Latvia, where only 2 percent of companies with ten or more employees used artificial intelligence last year. Artificial intelligence is also used sparingly in Slovenia, Hungary, and Cyprus.
According to Jakub Jiříček from Schneider Electric, one of the obstacles to a more rapid rise in analytical tools that use artificial intelligence algorithms is the fragmentation of operational data in the Czech Republic.
Expanding the use of artificial intelligence will be the main driver of increasing productivity in companies for the next decade.
“Companies that use artificial intelligence will be more efficient and profitable. Trying to prevent the introduction of artificial intelligence in business processes is the same as preventing the steam power during the Industrial Revolution. We are now in the period of the next industrial revolution, and we will decide for ourselves what benefits we will derive from it. Already today, artificial intelligence can replace many company routine processes and the free capacity of employees can be moved to activities that cannot be automated,” said Radek Šalomon, director of the AD24 company.
According to the director of Universal Robots, Pavel Bezucký, advanced forms of automation have recently been much more welcomed in medium-sized and small companies.
“In our country, most people have robots associated primarily with the automotive industry. Unfortunately, this also corresponds to reality, non-automotive industries have about a tenth of the share of robotics compared to automotive. But even that is beginning to change now. The fact that you can place the robot much closer to people suddenly opens up a wide field of activity, for example in restaurants, cafes, or other services,” he added.
Title image: In this March 21, 2019, file photo a robot called “Pepper” is positioned near an entrance to a Microsoft Store location, in Boston. Microsoft Corp. reports earnings Wednesday, April 24. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)