Artificial intelligence may be described as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Machine Learning is a type of artificial intelligence and is the ability of a computer program to learn on its own accord, without needing to be explicitly programmed or coded – the software learns each time it conducts a task. AI is the fastest growing tech sector in the world. US$38bn was invested in the last 12 months and this is due to grow 12-fold in the next 5 years. About 37% of organisations globally have AI – a 270% growth since 2016 (Gartner) and by 2021, 80% of technologies will have AI foundations (Gartner).
The greatest use of AI is in marketing and sales (40% use of AI) (Forbes) and the most common AI use cases are: customer service (US$4,5bn); sales process automation (US$2.7bn); automated threat intelligence (US$2.7bn) (IDC).
The coming of AI has been compared to the same powerful effect that electricity had when it was introduced to the industrial era and a greater effect than the invention of fire – Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated, “AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It is more profound than, I dunno, electricity or fire.”