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Gartner: AI will be in almost every software product by 2020

Gartner analysts have revealed they believe that by 2020, AI technologies will be virtually pervasive in almost every new software product and service.

The research firm predicts that by 2020, artificial intelligence will be a top five investment priority for more than 30 percent of CIOs.

Market hype and growing interest in artificial intelligence (AI) are pushing established software vendors to introduce AI into their product strategy, creating considerable confusion in the process.

In January 2016, the term “artificial intelligence” was not in the top 100 search terms on gartner.com. By May 2017, the term ranked at number 7, indicating the popularity of the topic and interest from Gartner clients in understanding how AI can and should be used as part of their digital business strategy. The research firm predicts that by 2020, AI will be a top five investment priority for more than 30 percent of CIOs.

“As AI accelerates up the hype cycle, many software providers are looking to stake their claim in the biggest gold rush in recent years,” said Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner. “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.”

While there is a widely held fear that AI will replace humans, the reality is that today’s AI and machine learning technologies can and do greatly augment human capabilities.

However, more than half the 83 respondents to Gartner’s 2017 AI development strategies online survey indicated that the lack of necessary staff skills was the top challenge to adopting AI in their organisation.

The survey found organisations are currently seeking AI solutions that can improve decision making and process automation. If they had a choice, most organisations would prefer to buy embedded or packaged AI solutions rather than trying to build a custom solution.

“Software vendors need to focus on offering solutions to business problems rather than just cutting-edge technology,” said Hare. “Highlight how your AI solution helps address the skills shortage and how it can deliver value faster than trying to build a custom AI solution in-house.”

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