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AI gold rush causes mass confusion as vendors flood the space

Many startups and existing vendors eagerly purusuing AI are incapable of builidng or deploying the technology.

By Tom Ball

Artificial intelligence has rocketed to the top of tech trends globally, and this is forcing vendors to include the technology in its offerings to meet market expectations and growing interest.

In light of this, Gartner has predicted that AI will be implemented in nearly every new software product by 2020.

The speed at which AI has become a paramount feature of new tech products is put in perspective by the fact that in 2016, ‘artificial intelligence’, did not feature in the top 100 search terms on Gartner.com.

In contrast to this, last month the same term was 7th on the list, making it apparent that the technology has now captured the imagination clients and investors. Gartner have also predicted that more than 30 percent of CIOs will hold AI as one of their top five investment targets, also by the year 2020.

This is problematic, Gartner says, as the market for AI is being diluted as numerous startups and other vendors muscle in on the space. Often machine learning can do the job of many new products labelled AI, and many teams lack the skills to build and deploy an AI solution.

Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner said: “As AI accelerates up the Hype Cycle, many software providers are looking to stake their claim in the biggest gold rush in recent years… “AI offers exciting possibilities, but unfortunately, most vendors are focused on the goal of simply building and marketing an AI-based product rather than first identifying needs, potential uses and the business value to customers.”

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There are areas that are desperate for an AI solution to take the weight off of skilled analysts weighed down by vast quantities of data and menial tasks that could be handled by AI. Cybersecurity is a prime example of a space experiencing such needs.

“Software vendors need to focus on offering solutions to business problems rather than just cutting-edge technology… Highlight how your AI solution helps address the skills shortage and how it can deliver value faster than trying to build a custom AI solution in-house,” said Hare.

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