AI & the Enterprise: Let's Chat About the Hype vs. Reality

Lately it seems I can't get through a day without hearing how artificial intelligence is going to change life and work as we know it. In fact, AI has come up in nearly every conversation I've had with communications industry analysts and consultants in the past couple of months.

But a common question in all of these conversations is whether most of what we hear about AI is largely hype or truly indicative of a significant growing adoption of AI within the enterprise today.

In a survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers and business leaders on attitudes toward AI, PwC found that people's view of AI's potential impact is shifting. While people previously have thought of AI primarily as a corporate tool for increasing automation, they now see it as capable of solving complex societal problems, for example. And on the enterprise side, 72% of business decision makers surveyed indicated that they see AI becoming the business advantage of the future.

Gartner research data tells a similarly promising story. By 2019, Gartner estimates more than 10% of all IT hires in customer service will primarily be responsible for writing scripts for bot interactions; and by 2020, 20% of companies will dedicate workers to monitor and guide neural networks. Gartner even estimates that by 2019 AI startups will begin to overtake leaders Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft with their "disruptive business solutions."

That's all well and good, but what about what's happening today in the here and now? We know from examples like Salesforce Einstein and Genesys's Kate that vendors are looking to find AI a home in the contact center, used to assist customer service agents and provide better care to callers.

But we all know that just because a vendor offers something, doesn't mean enterprises are using it. I've heard of several companies using AI for collaboration and communication purposes. For example, any enterprise that has Cisco Spark in play will use a form of AI when interacting with the digital assistant, "Hey Spark." And bots sure are growing in number. There may be countless enterprises using AI in this way without really knowing it. But how many are going beyond and finding innovative ways to leverage AI? And what benefit has it brought?

These are all points of discussion we plan to explore in our live Twitter chat, "AI and the Enterprise: Hype vs. Reality," today, Aug. 30, running from 4:00 p.m. ET to 4:30 p.m. ET. We'd love for you to join in and share your insight and experiences on AI. Bring your own questions, comments, and experiences, and take part in the live online discussion by using the hashtag #NJchat on each of your tweets. See you in the Twittersphere!

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