How many companies are planning to implement AI in 2019?

PricewaterhouseCoopers have released their AI predictions for the year after surveying enterprise execs

How many companies are planning to implement AI in 2019?

PwC surveyed over 1,000 US business executives in order to gauge how companies are investigating and implementing artificial intelligence (AI). According to the data, 20% of organisations will implement AI enterprise-wide in 2019.

How far will companies scale in 2019?

While 20% plan to incorporate AI into their enterprise-wide operations, 27% have already implemented AI in multiple areas. A further 15% said that they planned to do the same in 2019.

Overall, 16% had executed pilot projects of AI within discrete areas of their business. Meanwhile, 22% of respondents indicated that they had not yet implemented AI but were planning to investigate its use in the enterprise.

When asked who owns AI in the business, 24% said the AI Centre of Excellence (CoE). 19% identified the data and analytics group as the owner, while 15% said that an enterprise-wide AI leader was in charge.

The right foundation

According to PwC, a CoE is often the best way to build a foundation for AI. The firm also expects this model to become the most prevalent within the enterprise (PwC already has a CoE).

As the results show, some companies may prefer to delegate this task to other groups. 13% delegated this responsibility to business units and functions, but 11% outsourced to third-party providers.

Wherever the group resides, however, its responsibilities should cover business questions involving identify use cases, accountability and governance. PwC also recommends that the group oversees enterprise-wide data policies and determines technology standards.

An AI-ready workforce

As PwC predicted last year, upskilling non-AI professionals to work with the technology has become crucial. In November, Microsoft launched two new AI training programs in the UK to do just that.

Moreover, PwC indicates that a new set of tools which streamlines and automates the process for creating AI models is democratising AI. Fellow consultants at Deloitte have also observed this trend among early adopters of AI.

In the PwC survey, 38% of executives said that they are focusing their efforts on AI tools for business people. In fact, companies ranked this as the second most important capability that they will cultivate in 2019.

How are cultural narratives shifting within the tech industry? Board member and AI pioneer Inmaculada Martinez provided some invaluable insights in this recent podcast