robot hand on keyboard (Zapp2Photo/

AI breaks into the enterprise

Artificial intelligence has long seemed like more sizzle than steak, but 2017 may have been the year when enterprises decided to try it in earnest. According to a new report, AI's use as a mainstream business tool grew 60 percent over the last year.

According to the Outlook on Artificial Intelligence in the Enterprise 2018, 61 percent of business and technology executives surveyed were already using AI to save money, boost productivity, personalize interactions and automate repetitive manual tasks.  Predictive analytics, machine learning, natural language processing and voice recognition and response were the most widely used AI solutions reported.

The survey report from Narrative Science, which helps organizations integrate intelligence into their platforms, said respondents using AI-driven solutions described benefits such as saving time and increasing operational efficiency, accuracy and employee productivity.

To spur widespread enterprise AI use, the report recommended "humanizing" the technology by deploying natural speech-based applications, chatbots and personal digital assistants that augment, rather than replace, personal interactions and day-to-day tasks.  It also calls for setting realistic timelines for improving worker productivity and enhancing customer experience, as well as accurately measuring the return on investment.

Natural language-based AI applications, it said, can improve how employees and customers interact with technology and machines, "delivering interactions and yielding insights above and beyond what has been possible up to now."

Read the full report here.

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