The state of AI: 10 eye-opening statistics

Analysts say 2018 will be the year AI plans become reality. Consider these recent stats and trends on artificial intelligence
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In our recent conversation with David Schatsky, managing director at Deloitte, he indicated that 2018 is the year AI talk will turn into action. For CIOs who are still early in their talks – or who haven’t even had the conversation yet – this could bring up some key questions. Like, how do my plans stack up to others in my industry? What are the early adopters seeing? And what does this mean for jobs?

We examined some recent numbers and stats that help explain the current state of AI – and some key predictions around where it’s heading in the future.

[ See our related article: 5 AI assumptions and truths. ]

50 percent: IDC predicts a 50.1 percent compound annual growth rate for global spending on AI, reaching $57.6 billion by the year 2021. The report points out that investments from the retail, banking, healthcare, discrete and process manufacturing industries will represent over half of worldwide spend on AI.

$7.3 billion: Drilling down, on the retail front, global spending on artificial intelligence will grow to $7.3 billion per year by 2022, up from an estimated $2 billion in 2018, according to a study from Juniper Research. According to the research, “retailers will heavily invest in AI tools that allow them to differentiate and improve the services they offer customers. These range from automated marketing platforms that generate tailored, timely offers, to chatbots that provide instant customer service.”

1/3 shoppers: There’s a good reason for this influx of investment – consumers like AI. A new study from PointSource found that when artificial intelligence is deployed tactically, one-third of shoppers (34 percent) will spend more money online. Nearly half (49 percent) said they are willing to shop more frequently when AI is present.

While these stats are exciting, it’s still early days for most CIOs.

61 percent: This AI optimism is not limited to the retail industry alone. According to a recent survey from Arm, there’s generally more hope than fear around a future with increased automation and AI. In fact, 61 percent said they think AI will make the world a better place.

47 percent: There’s also a lot of trust. The same survey from Arm asked if respondents would rather go to a human doctor or an AI doctor – 47 percent chose the robot doc. As the next stat shows, money is following this trend.

$6.6 billion: The AI healthcare market is on track to hit $6.6 billion by 2021, according to Accenture data. The research notes, “according to Accenture analysis, when combined, key clinical health AI applications can potentially create $150 billion in annual savings for the US healthcare economy by 2026.”

4 percent: While these stats are exciting, it’s still early days for most CIOs. Gartner’s 2018 CIO Agenda Survey found that just four percent of CIOs have already implemented AI in the corporate realm. However, 46 percent plan to do so in the near future.

According to Whit Andrews, research vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, "Despite huge levels of interest in AI technologies, current implementations remain at quite low levels. However, there is potential for strong growth as CIOs begin piloting AI programs through a combination of buy, build and outsource efforts."

There may be a good reason CIOs are taking a slow, carefully measured approach to AI.

85 percent: There may be a good reason CIOs are taking a slow, carefully measured approach to AI. According to the same study, “Gartner predicts that through 2022, 85 percent of AI projects will deliver erroneous outcomes due to bias in data, algorithms, or the teams responsible for managing them.”

83 percent: Despite these erroneous outcomes, the early adopters are being rewarded. According to a recent Deloitte survey, 83 percent of the most aggressive adopters of AI and cognitive technologies said their companies have already achieved either moderate (53 percent) or substantial (30 percent) benefits.

2.3 million: But what about all those jobs that will be lost to robots in the near future? Fear not. Gartner predicts that by 2020, while 1.8 million jobs will be eliminated due to AI, 2.3 million more jobs will be created in their place.

[ Check out our related article, 8 emerging AI jobs for IT pros. ]

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Carla Rudder is a community manager and program manager for The Enterprisers Project. She enjoys bringing new authors into the community and helping them craft articles that showcase their voice and deliver novel, actionable insights for readers.