Catherine Beaudry, Full professor at Polytechnique Montréal, CIRANO Fellow and researcher and Amir Taherizadeh, lecturer at McGill University and CIRANO presented the highlights of the CIRANO project report «Vers une meilleure compréhension de la transformation numérique optimisée par l’IA et de ses implications pour les PME manufacturières au Canada - Une recherche qualitative exploratoire» Friday April 1st from 12pm to 1pm. Benoit Dostie, Responsible of the CIRANO Pole on the Socio-economic Impacts of Digital Intelligence, Fellow CIRANO and full professor at HEC Montreal moderated the event.
This report presents the main results of the qualitative and exploratory study aimed at explaining how artificial intelligence (AI), as general-purpose technology (GPT), impacts firm-level productivity and employment. Analyzing primary and secondary data sources (including 27 interviews, reports, and panel discussions), they first develop the maturity spectrum of AI adoption and classify small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that integrate AI into their work processes into four archetypes: The Wishful, The Achievers, The Leaders, and The Visionaries. By characterizing each archetype, they highlight nuances of changes that need to take place for a firm to further progress to the next stage of AI adoption. Second, they identify and explain seven barriers that are associated with the pervasive integration of AI among SMEs in manufacturing industries. Third, in three distinct case studies, reseachers explore three AI projects conducted by Quebec-based AI-focused firms to show how machine learning (ML) integration into products and work processes can act as a productivity enhancer and identify its impact on firm-level employment. Overall, their results suggest that successful AI integration requires a firm-level digital transformation which we illustrate as a continuum.