Monday 21 January 2019 9:52 am

AI deployment rockets as businesses seek competitive edge

The number of organisations using AI has rocketed 270 per cent since 2015, a survey out today reveals.

Firms across all industries are increasingly using artificial intelligence as they seek to gain an edge over competitors, research firm Gartner's 2019 CIO Survey found.

Read more: Automation and AI are leading the UK into a new industrial age

The huge increase means the percentage of businesses incorporating AI has grown from 25 per cent last year to 37 per cent now, the poll of 3,000 chief information officers across 89 countries showed, and up from 10 per cent since 2015.

Gartner vice president Chris Howard said the tech's nascent maturity level means most of those firms are now able to use it in a role designed to assist human workers, rather than do human tasks itself.

“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’,” he said.

“If you are a CIO and your organisation doesn’t use AI, chances are high that your competitors do and this should be a concern.”

A total of 52 per cent of telecommunications companies use chatbots, while 38 per cent of healthcare providers use computer-assisted diagnostics, the research found.

However, more than half of IT and business leaders viewed an AI talent shortage as the biggest challenge facing their organisation as businesses race to implement the new technology.

Read more: London leads the way as an artificial intelligence tech talent hub

And the “more organisations work with AI, the clearer the deployment challenge becomes”, Gartner said.

Howard added: “In order to stay ahead chief information officers need to be creative. If there is no AI talent available, another possibility is to invest in training programmes for employees with backgrounds in statistics and data management. Some organisations also create job shares with ecosystem and business partners.”