By 2020, artificial intelligence technology will be prevalent in almost every new software or product and service, according to predictions by Gartner analysts.

AI refers to systems that change behaviors without being explicitly programmed, based on data collected, usage analysis and other observations. While there is concern among skeptics that AI will replace some current jobs, AI and machine learning technologies can boost human capabilities, others argue.

Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner.
Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner.

‘Artificial intelligence’ was not in the top 100 search terms on gartner.com in January 2016. By May 2017, the term had climbed to #7 in the rankings, indicating a rapid spike in popularity and interest in understanding how AI can be used as part of a digital business strategy, the research firm noted. Additionally, Gartner predicts that AI will be a top five investment priority for more than 30 percent of CIO’s in 2020.

Gartner analysts acknowledge that machines can actually do some things better and faster than humans once they are properly programmed. However, the collaboration between humans and machines is more effective than when each works independently.

"AI offers exciting possibilities, but unfortunately, most vendors are focused on the goal of simply building and marketing an AI-based product rather than first identifying needs, potential uses and the business value to customers,” says Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner.

According to Gartner, if companies seek to exploit AI to their benefit, they must understand how to respond to three key issues: how to navigate the lack of differentiation in the market, choosing which solutions to deploy, and developing the skills to evaluate and deploy AI solutions.

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