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Gartner’s latest CIO Agenda Survey, released 2/13/18, asked CIOs if they had plans to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI). 46% responded that they have developed plans to do so. But only 4% said they had already implemented AI within their organizations. A further 20% also have AI pilot programs in place, ready to be implemented in the near future.

My perspective is that business leaders are catching up with consumers in adopting AI and intelligent digital assistants.

Gartner analysts identified the following four lessons that have emerged from these early AI projects:

  1. Aim Low at First – it’s best to start AI projects with a small scope and aim for ‘soft’ outcomes, such as process improvements, customer satisfaction or financial benchmarking.
  2. Focus on Augmenting People, Not Replacing Them
  3. Plan for Knowledge Transfer – Conversations with Gartner clients reveal that most organizations aren’t well-prepared for implementing AI. Specifically, they lack internal skills in data science and plan to rely to a high degree on external providers to fill the gap.
  4. Choose Transparent AI Solutions – AI projects will often involve software or systems from external service providers. Although it may not always be possible to explain all the details of an advanced analytical model, such as a deep neural network, it’s important to at least offer some kind of visualization of the potential choices.