Questionable Enterprise AI Adoption Data

919 672 The TWIML AI Podcast (formerly This Week in Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence)

This post is an excerpt from the July 22, 2016 edition of the This Week in Machine Learning & AI podcast. You can listen or subscribe to the podcast below.

A potentially interesting survey crossed the wires this week, and I while I’m bringing it up here, I do so with caveats, because the numbers seem a bit wonky. The survey, titled “Outlook on Artificial Intelligence in the Enterprise 2016” was published by Narrative Science, a “data storytelling” company that uses natural language generation to turn data into narratives. Narrative Science had help from the National Business Research Institute, a survey company that did the data collection for them.

A potentially interesting survey crossed the wires this week, and I while I’m bringing it up here, I do so with caveats, because the numbers seem a bit wonky. The survey, titled “Outlook on Artificial Intelligence in the Enterprise 2016” was published by Narrative Science, a “data storytelling” company that uses natural language generation to turn data into narratives. Narrative Science had help from the National Business Research Institute, a survey company that did the data collection for them.

The headline of the survey announcement seems to be that 38% of those surveyed are already using AI technologies, while 56% of those that aren’t expect to do so by 2018. But, if that’s the case, then my math says that 73% of respondents’ organizations expect to have AI deployed by 2018, but the official report cites this number as 62%.

Also, an infographic published by the same group says that only 24% of organizations surveyed are currently using AI, instead of the 38% quoted in their news release. This discrepancy could be due to the fact that a large percentage of organizations represented by the survey had more than one respondent, but it’s very confusing and I’d certainly expect more from a “data storytelling” company.

Unless of course their press release and infographic where totally created by a generative AI, in which case I’m very impressed but also a bit horrified.

Of course, the articles reporting on the survey don’t do anything to clear this up, with one of them reporting that 74% of organizations have already adopted AI.

In any case, I feel we do need more data about enterprise adoption of AI, so some credible numbers here would be great but for now this ends up being just a cautionary tale about questioning your data. I have tweeted out to the company for clarification, and I’ll share whatever I find out.

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