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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new survey of 1,000 senior executives finds that only 20% of U.S. companies are fully employing AI for decision-making in business.

Why it matters: Many businesses, especially outside tech, remain reluctant to fully employ AI because they don't completely trust it and can't tap the talent they need.

  • But companies that lag on implementing AI risk being left behind the minority of firms that are pushing ahead.

What's happening: Axios was given an early look at a report out later Monday morning from the consulting firm Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work on which companies are actually using AI for help in decision-making.

  • Fewer than you might think: Beyond the 20% of firms that Cognizant recognized as AI leaders, 61% of companies are only beginning to implement AI for decision-making, and 19% have barely begun.
  • "The majority of executives get stuck in a vicious circle where when they first try AI, the first wave of results tend to be underwhelming," says Ben Pring, managing director at the Center for the Future of Work. "You have to work at it and you have to learn how to optimize it."

The catch: Optimizing AI requires employees who know how to use it, but the brutal competition for AI talent makes it hard for lagging companies to break out of that vicious circle.

  • "If you can't get that talent, then you can't compete," says Pring.

The bottom line: The lure of AI for business is that the tech should be able to do work on its own, but Pring says executives need to remember that "this technology doesn't deploy itself."

Go deeper

Businesses grapple with vax mandates and COVID policies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A growing number of U.S. companies have mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for employees. But in the absence of a federal mandate there's a wide variance in what’s happening — mandates for all, some, or none — with employee demands being put front and center thanks to the Great Resignation.

Why it matters: How companies answer questions about vaccines and return-to-work policies has wide ranging impacts — on the health of their employees, on where people live, and on the strategic direction of their businesses.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.