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Why AI Is Happening Now

It’s still early days for adoption

October 17, 2017

While computer scientists have been touting artificial intelligence (AI) for more than half a century, the technology is just starting to reveal its potential. In spite of the hype, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision and natural language processing have quietly become entrenched in many people’s daily routines.

These innovations have brought with them new abilities to automate tasks, analyze data and connect dots, according to the eMarketer’s latest report, “Artificial Intelligence for Marketers 2018: Finding Value Beyond the Hype.” (Subscribers to eMarketer PRO can access the report here. Nonsubscribers can purchase the report here.)

Benefits of Implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) According to Senior Executives Worldwide, June 2017 (% of respondents)

Without even realizing it, people have become accustomed to interacting with AI. “When you use Facebook or Google or Apple, you’re using it,” said Karim Sanjabi, executive director of cognitive solutions at independent media agency Crossmedia. “It’s recommending your picture, it’s reading your email and giving you relevant ads back against that in Gmail. You probably interact with AI 30 or 40 times a day and may not know it.”

Investment and interest in AI remains high, though large-scale adoption is happening more slowly. Still, many companies have ambitious plans for AI systems and are looking to them to improve their business operations.

AI technologies—including machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and computer vision—are starting to show real promise, despite significant hype and confusion in the marketplace.

In the latest episode of "Behind the Numbers," eMarketer's Victoria Petrock discusses how companies in various industries are experimenting with artificial intelligence. This episode is made possible by Criteo.


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