After decades of promise and hype, artificial intelligence has finally reached a tipping point of market acceptance. AI is seemingly everywhere. Every day we can read about the latest AI advances and applications from startups and large companies. AI was the star of the 2018 Consumer Electronic Show earlier this year in Las Vegas.
But, despite its market acceptance, a recent McKinsey report found that AI adoption is still at an early, experimental stage, especially outside the tech sector. Based on a survey of over 3,000 AI-aware C-level executives across 10 countries and 14 sectors, the report found that 20 percent of respondents had adopted AI at scale in a core part of their business, 40 percent were partial adopters or experimenters, while another 40 percent were still waiting to take their first steps.
The report adds that the gap between the early AI adopters and everyone else is growing. While many companies have yet to be convinced of AI’s benefits, leading edge firms are charging ahead. Companies need to start experimenting with AI and get on the learning curve, or they risk falling further behind.
AI will likely become the most important technology of our era as it’s improved upon over time, but we’re still in the early stages of deployment. It’s only been in the last few years that complementary innovations, especially machine learning have taken AI from the lab to early marketplace adopters. And, history shows that even after technologies start crossing over into mainstream markets, it takes considerable time, - often decades, - for the new technologies and business models to be widely embraced by companies and industries across the economy.