Is this the final diagnosis? Surely not! This doesn’t imply that AI won’t continue to evolve. It will continue to evolve at an ever-increasing, rapid pace in 2018. There will just be less hype (and hot air about AI) and a lot more action, according to Forbes (Dec. 2018). For AI to succeed, the hot air about AI has to come down to earth and get to work, according to PwC’s AI predictions for 2018.
So, beyond the declining hype and decreasing media attention in 2018, all the indicators (outlined below) show that investment in the development and integration of AI technology is continuing to increase in scale. The reason for this (obviously) needs no comment – but since comments are free and facts are sacred, let’s talk about the facts: It’s the fear of losing out! It’s the fear of becoming second class. It’s the fear that companies will be disrupted by innovative AI technologies from their competition. This fear fuels investments in AI, so these investments will continue to massively increase.
According to Statista (Sep. 2017), about 84% of enterprises believe that investing in AI will lead to greater competitive advantage. The reason for this is obvious. Companies (e.g., Amazon) with systems of connected intelligence and engagement get superior returns, just like smarter, more informed people tend to do better in life.
In addition, 75% believe that AI will generate new businesses while providing competitors new ways to gain access to their markets. So, expanding into new markets while protecting existing markets is the major challenge. The deciding factor isn’t AI technologies themselves but the data. Data is the new oil, so we expect a bloodthirsty war over data between traditional enterprises.
Finally, 63% believe that the pressure to reduce costs will require the use of AI. Hence, driving advances in AI to innovate at almost all costs has become imperative for most businesses (small, medium, and large).
Bottom Line. We expect less hype around AI and much more action in the near future. Investments in AI will grow constantly and rapidly.
How many enterprises are currently investing or planning to invest in AI in the near future? A survey by Narrative Science (Jan. 2018) found that 38% of enterprises implemented AI in 2016. This number rose to 62% in 2017, and according to Forrester, it will increase to about 70% in 2018. Forbes (Oct. 2017) stated that 80% of enterprises have active AI in production today.
Although predicting the future is difficult (Niels Bohr), analysts seem to agree. So, all in all, we can safely conclude that more than two-thirds of all enterprises worldwide will have invested in AI by the end of 2018. As such, these statistics illustrate that AI is being widely used today.
Bottom Line. AI is here and now, and adoption is rising.