14 AI research statistics that map the future of business

By Jonathan Crowl

The evolution of AI can be difficult to track, but these statistics reveal what trends we can expect to see and its future in the enterprise. Based on new research from eMarketer and other sources, here are the top trends affecting the state of AI:

  1. Market estimates project global AI revenue will reach $36.8 billion by 2025, a significant increase over this year’s $643.7 million mark. (eMarketer)
  2. AI will drive 95 percent of all customer interactions by 2025, with consumers unable to differentiate bots from human workers via online chats and over the phone. (Servion)
  3. Seventy-five percent of developer teams will use AI technology in one or more business applications or services by 2018. (IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2017 Predictions, Nov 2016, Doc #US41883016)

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  4. Voice recognition and response solutions are the most widely used AI technologies, according to business executives, with 32 percent of those surveyed saying their organizations have already employed such solutions. (eMarketer)
  5. Machine learning is the second-most widely used technology among enterprise organizations at 24 percent, followed by virtual personal assistants at 15 percent. (eMarketer)
  6. “By 2020, 30 percent of all B2B companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes.” (Gartner, Predicts 2017: CRM Sales, 31 October 2016)
  7. Sixty-one percent of businesses with an active innovation strategy are using AI to uncover new data opportunities their other analytics solutions would have missed. (Narrative Science)
  8. Between 2010 and 2014, global investments into AI technology grew from $1.7 billion to $14.9 billion. (eMarketer)
  9. Of 312 companies receiving at least $100,000 in funding to conduct AI research, 224 of those firms were focused on building enterprise applications and solutions, according to a 2015 analysis from a venture capital firm. (eMarketer)
  10. “By 2018, 20 percent of all business content will be authored by machines.” (Gartner, Three Essential Actions for Technology and Service Providers to Succeed in Marketing Digital Business Services, 30 March 2017)
  11. Only 54 percent of business executives are currently aware of AI as an emerging technology, even though more commonly recognized technologies such as robotics and self-driving vehicles depend on AI to properly function. (eMarketer)
  12. Forty-two percent of business leaders say their organizations use internal research and development to create their enterprise AI capabilities. Another 32 percent say their organizations aren’t actively developing any AI solutions. (eMarketer)
  13. In Europe, 81 percent of business executives believe AI and machine learning will dramatically affect their businesses within the next four years. Ten percent believe this impact will arrive within the next 12 months. (eMarketer)
  14. IT decision-makers consider cloud-based software and applications to be their top technologies in which to invest, at 59 percent. Meanwhile, AI sits at 43 percent. Changing market conditions and the growth of AI could affect these numbers in the future. (eMarketer)

Even a quick glance at these AI statistics makes one thing clear: AI will have a starring role in the evolving state of business. The sheer scale of projected AI revenue — $36.8 billion by 2025 — is evidence enough that there is money to be made by investing in AI. It has tangible, real-world applications that could benefit many businesses, powering everything from voice recognition software to virtual personal assistants and beyond.

It’s telling that more than 71 percent of major firms conducting AI research have a B2B focus. While AI’s potential remains untapped across every industry, B2B brands are well aware of the practical improvements the technology could bring to their operations. Enterprise organizations will need to be more aggressive about exploring AI opportunities, investing in development and building a strategy to use AI and preserve future prospects.