21 March 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
More than four out of five companies view AI to be essential, and nearly half see it as a "transformative technology", according to research by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
The study reveals that most companies (84 per cent) are using AI, and 62 per cent see the technology as being important or highly important to remaining competitive by 2020.
By that year, companies project nearly half their AI investments (48 per cent) will go toward transforming their business, not merely improving the status quo.
The technology is envisaged to produce many new jobs but automating jobs as well. While it varies by business function, the report states that executives predict AI will result in a net loss of jobs in each function by 2020 of between 4 per cent (for example, in R&D) and 7 per cent (for instance, in procurement).
However, companies with the biggest revenue and cost improvements from AI in 2015 see the need for at least three times as many new jobs in each function by 2020 than companies with the smallest improvements from AI in 2015, says the report.
The biggest AI spenders are North American and European companies. The average European company surveyed anticipated outspending the average North American firm at $80 million to $64 million.
This report is one of two that TCS will release in 2017 on how large companies in four regions of the world are using cognitive technologies.
TCS conducted this study in 2016, surveying more than 800 companies (835 respondents to be exact), as well as interviewing three industry-leading global companies. It also gathered dozens of examples of corporate AI initiatives from secondary research from articles written about and by these companies, and presentations their executives have given.