AI: Here Today, Everywhere Tomorrow?

Lots of enterprises have a long way to go before they roll out AI-based applications. Where are you on the path to AI?

James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer

January 26, 2018

3 Min Read
Image: Shutterstock

Enterprise use of artificial intelligence is at a strange stage. We've seen some success stories, and a lot of organizations can envision new uses for AI. Yet, a fraction of enterprises have AI-based applications in production -- with estimates ranging from one company in 25 to one company in five.

Still, "AI" and "machine learning" seem to be on everyone's lips. It makes you wonder how much of the noise is just talk, and how much of it is action.

I'm curious about the state of AI adoption in the InformationWeek audience. With that in mind, we have posted a Flash Poll, Closer Look: AI in the Enterprise.

I hope you will cast your vote and share your thoughts on where your organization stands in implementing AI, whether you have apps in production, have ideas for using AI in the future, or are stuck in a fog wondering how you will get through the a few dozen other must-do IT projects before you can think about AI.

Last week, I shared some thoughts on our affiliate site,, in discussing the relationships among analytics, AI, and the Internet of Things. It led me to recall how AI has always seemed just around the corner, even when I got into the tech publishing field almost 35 years ago.

A couple things have changed since those days, with technology taking major strides just in the past few years. First, we have enabling technologies today, such as powerful processors, analytics tools, data management software, cloud services, and mobile devices that generate data a million times faster than Alan Turing ever could have imagined. The second big change has been in how we think of AI: For many decades we waited for someone to deliver "AI software." That never happened.

In reality, what happened was that we finally came to acknowledge that AI is a capability that can serve as a feature in the applications that we use every day. AI can strengthen the connection to the customer in a CRM system. It lends a voice to personal assistance devices, allowing us to call them chatbots. It helps to optimize machine performance in factories. AI enhances search tools in a remarkable way, reviewing thousands of medical journals and reports in minutes to identify treatments for cancer, a task that would take a team of researchers entire careers to do on their own. Yes, there are tools that help you develop AI, but artificial intelligence isn't going to show up in a box from Amazon, although Amazon might remind you that you are interested in it.

We hope the poll provides insight into the state of AI in your organization and those of your peers.

Now, if you would like to understand the state of AI on still a grander scale, check out these recent InformationWeek feature articles:

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About the Author(s)

James M. Connolly

Contributing Editor and Writer

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced freelance technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than three decades. He was previously editorial director of InformationWeek and Network Computing, where he oversaw the day-to-day planning and editing on the sites. He has written about enterprise computing, data analytics, the PC revolution, the evolution of the Internet, networking, IT management, and the ongoing shift to cloud-based services and mobility. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. He has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through such publications as Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups at MassHighTech.

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