New Delhi: More than 1 in 2 (53 per cent) of Indian IT professionals say that their company has accelerated the rollout of artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an IBM survey revealed on Tuesday. While 43 per cent of Indian IT professionals say that the pandemic has increased their focus on security and threats, more than 1 in 2 feel limited expertise or knowledge and increasing data complexity and data silos as barriers to AI adoption. "Nearly all (95 per cent) IT professionals in India believe that it is critical or very important to their business that they can trust the AI's output is fair, safe and reliable," according to IBM's ‘Global AI Adoption Index 2021' survey released during the company's IBM Think 2021' virtual conference. "Trusted AI, the rise of virtual agents using NLP, automation, and anywhere Hybrid are the top areas that have emerged as key business enablers in the last year owing to the acceleration of technology adoption," said Viswanath Ramaswamy, Vice President, Technology, IBM Technology Sales, India/South Asia. Over 3 in 4 (78 per cent) Indian IT professionals said it is very important to their company that they can build and run their AI projects wherever the data resides. During the virtual event, IBM unveiled new competencies, skills training, and benefits to ensure its partners succeed in an increasingly competitive market, ss part of its $1 billion investment to support its partner ecosystem. "We will look back on this year and last as the moment the world entered the digital century in full force," said IBM Chairman and CEO, Arvind Krishna. "In the same way that we electrified factories and machines in the past century, we will use hybrid cloud to infuse AI into software and systems in the 21st century," he added. IBM announced several advances in artificial intelligence (AI), hybrid cloud, and quantum computing at the Think conference.