When Artificial intelligence is just a buzzword

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03/06/2019 | 05:06 pm
According to a new report from PwC called AI Predictions 2019 study, artificial intelligence could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. But behind the numbers, it seems that some AI companies are simply cashing in on the hype.

The accounting company surveyed more than 1,000 US business executives at companies that are already investigating or implementing AI. A full 20% said their organizations plan to implement AI enterprise-wide in 2019, while 15 % say they plan to implement AI in certain areas and 22 % are investigation the use of AI. A whopping 27 % say they already implemented AI in multiple areas.

That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Could it be that AI doesn’t mean the same thing to all people? Another study from investment fund MMC Ventures suggests that the term artificial intelligence is widely misused, at least in the European startup ecosystem where the study took place. Indeed, 40% of young companies identified as exploiting this technology never actually use it.

A term that investors like

The company examined the case of approximately 2,830 startups from 13 European Union countries that are considered to be artificial intelligence companies. And according to the report, 40% of them showed no evidence of any real use of AI for their business. Nothing more than a buzzword…

But there is a good reason why they would use it: companies claiming to use AI attract 15 to 50 % more financing than others, according to the study.

Fortunately, some companies do actually use AI. This technology is no longer at the distant project stage, and is not reserved for certain technology companies. AI is already moving into new sectors and infrastructures such as labs, factories, hospitals, or construction sites.

PwC argues that a major component of the value it creates will come from increased worker productivity, by doing all the low-impact busywork instead of employees. For example, an AI that summarize meetings or that answers basic emails. This will indirectly increase employees’ ability to innovate and perform more productive tasks.

And for those of you who wonder what the real definition of artificial intelligence is, here is one from techopedia : "AI is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include: speech recognition, learning, planning and problem solving." Anything else is just a buzzword.
Romain Fournier
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