Three out of four believe that AI applications are the next mega trend

Although applying artificial intelligence (AI) is a challenge for enterprises, and budget is an issue, most brands believe that AI will bring success according to new report.

Video: Microsoft hits "human milestone" with Chinese-to-English machine translator

IDC predicts that global spending on cognitive and AI systems is forecast to reach $57.6 billion in 2021.

In a follow-up to its 2017 survey on the future of marketing and content, Foster City, Calif-based organic search and content platform BrightEdge has released new findings from a survey of Fortune 500 marketers.

Read also: Worried about your job? AI can beat humans in converting leads to sales

It surveyed 500 people during February 2018. The online survey contained eight questions related to the future of marketing and the challenges, solutions, and adoption of AI.

The findings point to increased adoption rates during 2017 and highlighted the benefits and obstacles of artificial intelligence.

Three out of four believe that AI applications are the next mega trend according to report ZDnet
(Image: BrightEdge)

The top three responses to its question about the next big trends question are all AI applications. Consumer personalization (28.66 percent), artificial intelligence (25.69 percent), and voice search (21.23 percent) were the trends most favoured.

All three items -- totaling 75 percent -- are AI applications, which shows that AI is more pervasive than respondents realize. Sixty percent of respondents said they are likely to incorporate AI into their content marketing strategy -- a rise of 17 percen from last year's 43 percent response.

Many people are unaware they are using AI. It is very similar to interacting with traditionally programmed PCs or mobile devices. The differentiator is that AI has a neural network, algorithms, and big data, which helps AI better understand inputs and provide more accurate outputs.

Respondents said that the greatest reported benefit of AI is better understanding of the customer and driving productivity and time savings.

Read also: New AI technology takes the guesswork out of influencer marketing campaigns

Although almost half of respondents see a constructive role for AI, the greatest deterrents to AI adoption are confusion on the definition of AI and a lack of budget, according to the report.

We are already interacting with AI on a daily basis. It is ubiquitous and will permeate everything we do without our knowledge. It impacts nearly all aspects of life: we wear smart devices and talk to AI voice assistants in our homes. Our gardens are watered and our houses are kept safe and warm. Chatbots are used to help us purchase items, or answer questions.

AI takes the guesswork out of influencer marketing campaigns, and AI assistants help us with work email. Its adoption is growing year on year. Brands that use AI see better productivity and time savings (27.39 percent) and even an increase on ROI (8.07 percent).

As brands will overtake other companies who do not use AI, the case for widespread adoption -- driven by the customer -- will ensure its continued growth year on year. Savvy brands would do well to get ahead of the curve.

Previous and related coverage

How ubiquitous AI will permeate everything we do without our knowledge.

Most of us do not know that we are using chatbots to talk to service agents, so how will we know that AI will be seamlessly interacting in with our future lives?

Are enterprises really ready for AI?

Businesses are facing setbacks around AI adoption -- with over half feeling that they are not prepared to effectively use AI technologies in their organisations.