According to a recent survey by Gartner, the number of enterprises using artificial intelligence grew 270% over the past four years and tripled in the last year.
While the survey results prove organizations across all industries are using AI in some from, they're hamstrung by an acute talent shortage.
"Four years ago, AI implementation was rare, only 10% of survey respondents reported that their enterprises had deployed AI or would do so shortly. For 2019, that number has leapt to 37%—a 270% increase in four years,” said Chris Howard, distinguished research vice president at Gartner, in a prepared statement. “If you are a CIO and your organization doesn’t use AI, chances are high that your competitors do and this should be a concern.”
The deeper enterprises get with their AI implementations, the more they struggle with their AI deployments. The Gartner Research Circle Survey found that 54% of the respondents view the skill shortage as the biggest barrier to their organizations.
Once AI is implemented, it will play a key role in overcoming those very same skill shortages in workforces by automating processes.
"We still remain far from general AI that can wholly take over complex tasks, but we have now entered the realm of AI-augmented work and decision science—what we call ‘augmented intelligence,’” Howard added.
AI has become a key element for digital transformation and the automation of processes and networks. The survey results found that 52% of telco organizations use chatbots, and 38% of the healthcare providers rely on compute-assisted diagnostics.
Combined with machine learning, big data analytics and automation, AI will enable closed-loop automation for service providers in the short term, and, according to industry experts, eventually lead to autonomous networks.
To spur AI innovation, AT&T and Tech Mahindra announced in 2017 that they were teaming up on the AI and machine learning Acumos platform with the goal of putting it into open source.
Acumos, which is hosted by the Linux Foundation's LF Deep Learning Foundation, was created to simplify the development of AI across a broad range of verticals while also providing a marketplace for accessing, using and enhancing AI apps. Acumos went live in March in conjunction with the Open Networking Summit. Expect several AI-related projects to emerge from Acumos this year.
For the survey, Gartner gathered data from more than 3,000 CIO respondents in 89 countries across major industries, representing $15 trillion in revenue and public-sector budgets and $284 billion in IT spending.