Microsoft has unveiled the results of a survey of business leaders on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI). The findings are surprising: German and Russian entrepreneurs and executives appear to come out ahead of those from the US and other advanced European economies when it comes to adopting the technology. Mostly, however, this and several other studies confirm a frustrating problem: the AI hype is making it impossible to figure out how much businesses really need it and are using it. The 800 respondents in the study came from seven countries — the US, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It’s not a globe-spanning data-set and it doesn’t include the potential AI leader, China, nor one of the leaders in AI research, Canada. But the study’s scope is respectable. It shows that the US isn’t among the leaders of the AI race, though a 2018 study by Capgemini Consulting, for example, puts it out ahead and Russia far behind.

The problem with this su...

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