Top Trends on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2019

September 12, 2019

Contributor: Laurence Goasduff

This Gartner Hype Cycle highlights how AI is reaching organizations in many different ways.

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Between 2018 and 2019, organizations that have deployed artificial intelligence (AI) grew from 4% to 14%, according to Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda survey. AI is reaching organizations in many different ways compared with a few years ago, when there was no alternative to building your own solutions with machine learning (ML). AutoML and intelligent applications have the greatest momentum, while other approaches are also popular — namely, AI platform as a service or AI cloud services.

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Conversational AI remains at the top of corporate agendas spurred by the worldwide success of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and others. Meanwhile, new technologies continue to emerge such as augmented intelligence, edge AI, data labeling and explainable AI. 

“ This year’s Hype Cycle features many new technologies, but few have a value or purpose that is fully understood”

The Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2019, examines the stream of innovations and trends in the AI sector and scopes AI plans. Fast followers should at least be working on a business case for AI. For early adopters, AI scalability is the next frontier. This year’s Hype Cycle features many new technologies, but few have a value or purpose that is fully understood — and even fewer are seeing mainstream adoption. “It does not mean that AI is unusable. It means that it will be changing,” says Svetlana Sicular, Vice President Analyst, Gartner. “To assess AI’s value and risks, CIOs need to set realistic expectations for AI.” Sicular highlights below AI technologies that must be on the CIO’s radar for high and transformational business impact in the next two to five years.



The Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2019

Augmented intelligence

Augmented intelligence is a human-centered partnership model of people and AI working together to enhance cognitive performance. It focuses on AI’s assistive role in advancing human capabilities. AI interacting with people and improving what they already know reduces mistakes and routine work, and can improve customer interactions, citizen services and patient care. The goal of augmented intelligence is to be more efficient with automation, while complementing it with a human touch and common sense to manage the risks of decision automation.  

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Chatbots are the face of AI and impact all areas where there is communication between humans such as car maker KIA, which talks to 115,000 users per week, or Lidl’s Winebot Margot that provides guidance on which wine to buy and tips on food pairings. Chatbots can be text- or voice-based, or a combination of both, and rely on scripted responses involving few people. Common applications exist in HR, IT help desk and self-service, but customer service is where chatbots are already having the most impact, notably changing the way customer service is conducted. The change from “the user learns the interface” to “the chatbot is learning what the user wants” means greater implications for onboarding, productivity and training inside the workplace. 

Machine learning

Machine learning can solve business problems, such as personalized customer treatment, supply chain recommendations, dynamic pricing, medical diagnostics or anti-money laundering. ML uses mathematical models to extract knowledge and patterns from data. Adoption of ML is increasing as organizations encounter exponential growth of data volumes and advancements in compute infrastructure.  Currently, ML is being used in multiple fields and industries to drive improvements and find new solutions for business problems. American Express uses data analytics and ML algorithms to help detect fraud in near-real-time in order to save millions in losses. Volvo uses data to help predict when parts might fail or when vehicles need servicing, improving its vehicle safety.  

AI governance

Organizations should not neglect AI governance. They need to be aware of the potential regulatory and reputational risks. “AI governance is the process of creating policies to fight AI-related biases, discrimination and other negative implications of AI,” says Sicular.

“ Identify transparency requirements for data sources and algorithms to reduce risks and grow confidence”

To develop AI governance, data and analytics leaders and CIOs should focus on three areas: trust, transparency and diversity. They need to focus on trust in data sources and AI outcomes to ensure successful AI adoption. They also need to identify transparency requirements for data sources and algorithms to reduce risks and grow confidence in AI. They should ensure data, algorithms and viewpoint diversity to pursue AI ethics and accuracy.

Intelligent applications

Most organizations’ preference for acquiring AI capabilities is shifting in favor of getting them in enterprise applications. Intelligent applications are enterprise applications with embedded or integrated AI technologies to support or replace human-based activities via intelligent automation, data-driven insights, and guided recommendations to improve productivity and decision making.  Today, enterprise application providers are embedding AI technologies within their offerings as well as introducing AI platform capabilities — from enterprise resource planning to customer relationship management to human capital management to workforce productivity applications.  CIOs should challenge their packaged software providers to outline in their product roadmaps how they are incorporating AI to add business value in the form of advanced analytics, intelligent processes and advanced user experiences.

Read more: 6 Design Principles for Artificial Intelligence in Digital Business

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