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Artificial intelligence, ethics and customer needs are top of mind in 2019

Meeting the rapidly changing needs and expectations of customers, the importance of ethics and the growing impact of artificial intelligence will be among the key trends of the coming months, according to a report from communications technology provider Vodafone.

The company’s 2019 Global Trends report, based on a global, online survey of 1,733 executives across 10 markets, showed that 85 percent of business leaders agree that the needs of customers are changing rapidly, and 93 percent think customer expectations are increasing.

A large majority of businesses (93 percent) agree that they are expected to act ethically by customers, and 83 percent think acting ethically ultimately generates more revenue. More than half business leaders (55 percent) indicated that retaining the trust of customers is a concern for their business.

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Many are also expecting a huge impact from AI over the next 12 months, with 86 percent saying the technology will lead to different jobs and 85 percent agreeing that humans will have to work alongside AI systems.

There will likely be challenges with AI, however. For example, 54 percent of the respondents think the use of AI could lead to discrimination, highlighting the unsettled feelings that automation is creating in the workforce, the report said.

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