It seems like artificial intelligence is taking over the world, leaving many of us non-techies feeling terrified.
Yet when you stop to think about it, we all use artificial intelligence (AI) every day. When we Google something, use Siri on our smartphones or ask Alexa a question, we are using AI.
Hollywood has certainly featured AI in many movies from “The Terminator” series to “Robocop” and “I, Robot.”
In “Minority Report,” algorithms predict who is going to commit a crime, and the person is arrested before the crime can be committed.
What we want to consider is not a fictional near future of robots taking over the world but a more pressing issue of jobs. According to a McKinsey report, 400 million to 800 million jobs worldwide could be displaced by 2030 as a result of machines.
“The bigger concern with AI is that those who do not adapt and learn how to work alongside machines might be seen as obsolete in certain sectors,” said Susan Sly, co-CEO and co-founder of RadiusAI, which was just named a top 10 startup in the highly competitive Phoenix tech market.
AI is big business. Microsoft recently agreed to invest $1 billion in a partnership with the research group OpenAI, co-founded by Elon Musk and other wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. According to Bloomberg News, OpenAI will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud services to train and run the group’s AI software, and the two will jointly develop supercomputing technology.
Those are big players in any industry, to be sure, but how will AI benefit the rest of the business world? According to the Harvard Business Review, 36% of executives say that their primary goal for incorporating AI is to optimize internal business operations. Eighty-four percent of global business organizations believe that AI will give them a competitive advantage.
A whopping 72% of executives believe that AI will be the most significant business advantage of the future, according to a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Gartner, a global-research and advisory firm, said by the end of this year, startups will surpass the leading giants like Google, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon in driving the AI economy. By 2020, it is expected that AI will become a more integral part of the sales process for up to 30% of companies around the world.
Artificial intelligence will transform the relationship between people and technology. Our skills and creativity will be challenged and enhanced. Real and sustainable benefits to business transformation will be the end result.
Rather than fear these bold changes, consider this: The share of jobs requiring AI has increased by 450% since 2013, according to Adobe. Investment into AI startups by venture capitalists has soared sixfold since 2000. The number of AI startups since 2000 has increased 14 times, said an article in Forbes.
AI has enormous potential to affect the profitability of companies that find appropriate ways to use it.
The statistics website Statista projects that global revenue from AI for enterprise applications are forecast to grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to $31.2 billion in 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 52.6% in this seven-year period.
Global retail spending on AI will grow to $7.3 billion a year by 2022, up from $2 billion in 2018, according to Juniper Research. This is because companies will invest heavily in AI tools that will help them differentiate and improve the services they offer customers.
And here is a statistic that merits your attention: Approximately 61% of companies with an innovation strategy are using AI to identify opportunities in data that they would have otherwise missed, according to Narrative Science.
That’s a lot of data to absorb, but I think it’s a road map to the future. If all those numbers haven’t convinced you that artificial intelligence is a trend to be embraced rather than feared, you might be on the road to nowhere.
Mackay’s Moral: Businesses with the brightest futures are “AI” — All In — on AI.
Harvey Mackay is a Minneapolis businessman. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.