What’s the State of AI Right Now in 2019?

There is so much going on in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Even on my own blog, I’ve talked about how the “personal touch” is still an important aspect of AI, how AI is getting more emotional, and whether or not AI is going to help HR departments build rockstar teams. I feel like we’ve covered so much — but haven’t even scratched the surface.

For those of you that are new around here, we define AI as the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. But, in order for AI to “work” we have to have data to inform the machines (called: machine learning) and those large data sets are often referred to as Big Data, which is defined differently by almost everyone I talk to.

Okay, so what’s new in Big Data and AI then?

#1. Adoption is Steadily Increasing - YAY!

According to the NewVantage Partners 2019 Big Data and AI Executive Survey, 92% of the C-level executives surveyed said they are increasing their pace of investment and that 62% have already seen measurable results. A Capgemini AI in Retail report also suggests that 28% of retailers are deploying AI today, which is up from 17% in 2017.

Even within my own network, I’m hearing a lot of talk about leaders looking for ways to stay ahead of the AI curve. Everyone that I broach the topic with may not have deployed any algorithms to date, but at least they’re researching, reading, interviewing and discussing how they can get going in a meaningful way — with a use-case that they feel will help their business, no matter how simple that use-case may be.

#2. There’s a Positive Outlook on the Impact

That same Capgemini survey says that 71% of retailers believe AI is creating jobs today, with 68% of those jobs being at a senior level. Interestingly, it also says that 75% report that AI has not replaced any jobs in their organization so far.

Outside of the retail space, business leaders, technology experts, innovators, researchers, and activists were surveyed on their thoughts. Pew Research found that the majority believe the rise of AI will make most people better off over the next decade, but many have concerns about how AI will impact “what it means to be human”. It’s the “good” vs. “evil” plot.

I think this is super interesting. We’re seeing a cautious (but steady) move into adoption. Within that Pew study, suggestions were offered for each of the big concerns. For example, there is a concern about data abuse and surveillance that could be designed for profit or exercising power. The suggestions solutions include: remembering that the global good is the main priority, that we lead with a values-based system and that we prioritize people.

#3. How People View Data Impacts Adoption in Business

On that note, how we feel (as people) about data privacy and the security of our data is crucial for successful AI adoption in business. NewVantage says that 77% of business leaders believe “business adoption” of AI and big data represent a challenge for their organizations citing 95% of those challenges being related to cultural changes (people and process) versus only 5% relating to the technology itself.

As a tech guy who is BIG on company culture, I think the way we approach data — how we empower our team with data, how we discuss and use data, etc. — is super important to the culture of the company. And, this study further cements the idea that it can impact tech adoption, as well.

Putting it Together

This entire concept is based on the business paradigm that you’re deploying with AI. It will make some things easier and more efficient — and yes, it might replace some jobs —but,  in reality,  it frees up team members to do so many more value-add projects within the company.

It will be interesting to see where AI and big data take us over the next few years. Have you implemented these technologies in your business? Do you think there’s a positive outlook for AI? What about adoption? Are your coworkers and colleagues eager to let AI in? Let’s continue this over on my LinkedIn page