Enterprise AI needs to deliver real value as adoption slows

The latest annual AI Adoption in the Enterprise survey from O'Reilly finds that over the last two years the number of organizations with AI applications in production has remained steady at 26 percent.

However, many enterprises still lack AI governance. Among respondents with AI products in production, the number of those whose organizations have a governance plan in place to oversee how projects are created, measured, and observed (49 percent) is roughly the same as those that don't (51 percent).

"For years, AI has been the focus of the technology world," says Mike Loukides, vice president of content strategy at O'Reilly and the report's author. "Now that the hype has died down, it’s time for AI to prove that it can deliver real value, whether that's cost savings, increased productivity for businesses, or building applications that can generate real value to human lives. This will no doubt require practitioners to develop better ways to collaborate between AI systems and humans, and more sophisticated methods for training AI models that can get around the biases and stereotypes that plague human decision-making."

When looking at the risks of AI, unexpected outcomes, at 68 percent remain the biggest focus for mature organizations, followed closely by model interpretability and model degradation (both 61 percent). Privacy (54 percent), fairness (51 percent), and security (42 percent) -- issues that may have a direct impact on individuals -- were among the risks least cited by organizations.

"While AI adoption is slowing, it is certainly not stalling," says Laura Baldwin, president of O'Reilly. "There are significant venture capital investments being made in the AI space, with 20 percent of all funds going to AI companies. What this likely means is that AI growth is experiencing a short-term plateau, but these investments will pay off later in the decade. In the meantime, businesses must not lose sight of the purpose of AI: to make people's lives better. The AI community must take the steps needed to create applications that generate real human value, or we risk heading into a period of reduced funding in artificial intelligence."

The full report is available on the O'Reilly site.

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