Developers are calling the shots on AI planning, judging by your experience

And American CIOs keep a closer eye on the purse strings than European equivalents

Reader Poll Results When it comes to rolling out AI systems, developers are still the most important in deciding which to run, but there are some major differences in strategy between The Register's US and European readers.

Like it or not, AI is coming to a business near you soon. Microsoft is busy ramming OpenAI's machine learning technology into everything it can, Google and Apple are trying to do the same with its lineup, and you can't swing a cat (and nor should you) without vendors announcing that they are adding AI capabilities to its code.

We asked Register readers how AI is being deployed at their employers, over 5,000 responded, and the results show that trusty developers still call the shots when it comes to picking which machine learning models to buy. Developers were top of the decision-making list by 55.7 percent in the US and 45 percent among European firms.

It's a reassuring result, considering it's those at the coalface who are going to have to make these systems work on a day-to-day basis. As one would expect, the second most important people in the process are IT management, in both Europe and America only just behind developers.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to actually controlling the purse strings for such AI augmentation, it's the IT department ruling the roost in both regions, but there's a notable difference on the different sides of the Atlantic. European readers report that the next most important role in splashing the cash is architects, whereas they only rank fifth on the list in America.


In the US ... Not exactly building bridges – click to embiggen

Instead, in the US, the CIO takes on a vastly more important role, only slightly behind the IT administration. Meanwhile, developers and data scientists are considered the next most influential, ahead of architects.

The US also differs in that double the number of respondents in the Land of the Free Market™ reported that outside forces like venture capitalists have a say in the purchase of AI systems – 10.4 percent to EMEA's 5 percent. The US also reports using business analysts to advise on purchasing at around twice the rate of that seen in Europe.


VCs and analysts not as important in Europe – click to embiggen

While there is debate about how far along the hype cycle we are on AI, the fact of the matter is that the technology is coming to the workplace one way or another and has to be dealt with. Those who don't use such systems are going to face a competitive disadvantage and, as the old Chinese proverb goes, "when the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills."

So how's AI deployment working for you? Let us know in the forum below and we'll poll readers again later on to see how the situation is developing, so to speak. ®

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