Almost half of CIOs plan to deploy artificial intelligence enterprise solutions

According to Gartner, executives in the enterprise are planning to pilot AI projects in the near future.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a common component of the enterprise but almost half of Chief Information Officers (ICOs) plan to deploy AI solutions in the future.

On Tuesday, research agency Gartner revealed the results of a new survey which asked how many business executives are planning to adopt AI in the corporate realm.

According to the CIO agenda survey, four percent of CIOs have already implemented AI in some fashion, but a further 46 percent have plans to follow suit.

In addition, 20 percent of CIOs worldwide have pilot AI programs in the pipeline for implementation in the near future.

AI adoption is slow. It takes time for any enterprise to embrace new technologies, to understand the potential risk of replacing legacy systems and test the value of investment in next-generation services.

However, the technology has limitless possibilities, if implemented correctly. AI and cognitive computing can ramp up data analytics and process ambiguous sources such as from IoT devices and social media, identify patterns and improve industrial processes, and may also be able to enhance security and bolster marketing teams by providing personalized, actionable data on customers, and more.

Companies including SAP, MapR, Google, and Microsoft are all exploring the enterprise value of AI.

Despite vast levels of interest, actual deployment in the enterprise is low according to Whit Andrews, research vice president at Gartner.

Early adopters face a number of challenges, including the trap of expecting direct financial gain rather than indirect business value, and the wish to replace staff rather than augment them.

"Leave behind notions of vast teams of infinitely duplicable 'smart agents' able to execute tasks just like humans," the analyst said. "It will be far more productive to engage with workers on the front line and get them excited and engaged with the idea that AI-powered decision support can enhance and elevate the work they do every day."

However, there is a more tangible problem at the heart of low adoption rates. In total, 53 percent of respondents said their organization's ability to mine and exploit data is "limited" -- the lowest level on offer -- and so implementing artificial intelligence solutions to take advantage of this information cannot be a priority.

See also: What is AI? Everything you need to know about Artificial Intelligence

The research agency estimates that by 2020, 20 percent of organizations will dedicate workers to monitoring and controlling neural networks, an important component of AI.

Neural networking, based on biological neural networks, is the key to giving AI the ability to define relationships and identify patterns based on ambiguous data gathered from a myriad of sources.

However, not every AI pilot will be a success. Gartner believes that up to 85 percent of projects will not deliver due to data bias, poor team management, or unsuitable algorithms.

"Whether an AI system produces the right answer is not the only concern," said Andrews. "Executives need to understand why it is effective, and offer insights into its reasoning when it's not."

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