Momentum continues to gather within the business world around artificial intelligence, described by one leader as “the glue that stitches analytics results with actions” and another as a technological breakthrough that is essential for success. Still another leader surveyed the AI landscape and offered this assessment: “The future is indeed AI for everyone.”
The present, too. Gartner reported in 2015 that just 10 percent of companies responding to a survey were using AI, or planned to do so. Four years later, 37 percent fell into those categories, a 270 percent increase. Other reports indicate that 91.5 percent of firms have an ongoing investment in AI (though only 14.6 percent have actually implemented it). And while the percentage of firms assessing AI as the most disruptive technology slipped from 80 percent in 2019 to 69.5 percent in 2020, it still greatly outdistances cloud computing (11 percent).
In all, the AI market size, which stood at $27.23 billion in 2019, is expected to mushroom to $266.92 billion by 2027, a compound annual growth rate of 33.2 percent. Small wonder that Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, a computer scientist and head of the Chinese venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures, asserted in 2018 that AI is going to “change the world more than anything in the history of mankind. More than electricity.”
That same year, Andrew Ng, chief scientist of the Chinese multinational technology company Baidu and former Google Brain head, put it this way to ZDNet:
“Lots of industries go through this pattern of winter, winter, and then an eternal spring. We may be in the eternal spring of AI.”
And indeed, 54 percent of the companies adopting AI have seen a spike in productivity, while 44 percent have seen an increase in profitability. Additionally, 62 percent of consumers expressed a willingness to use the technology to bolster their experience.
AI has impacted businesses across the board, but it is expected to have a particularly profound effect on healthcare, as has already been shown during the pandemic. While some 45 percent of American healthcare systems indicated in 2019 that they had begun to use AI or were planning to do so, in 2020 that rose to 84 percent. Another study concluded that the healthcare AI market, valued at $3.9 billion in 2019, will increase to $107 billion by 2027, a staggering compound annual growth rate of 49.8 percent.
It has been found that AI can automate image diagnosis, a case in point being its ability to identify COVID-19 on chest X-rays. AI can also reduce dosage errors and play a role in robot-assisted surgery, and reduce doctors’ administrative burdens, a major cause of burnout.
AI is also impacting transportation, as shown in the development of autonomous vehicles, as well as manufacturing, where robots are being used more and more for repetitive tasks. It is also a factor in the recruiting process in all industries, as well as cybersecurity.
So yes, it does appear to be an eternal spring for AI, with new developments constantly blossoming and fertile ground forever available to investors.