Interconnection Trends: AI Poised for the Mainstream

Artificial intelligence continues its meteoric march to the mainstream – AI augmentation predicted to reach $2.9 trillion of global business value in 2021.

Artificial Intelligence has been at the top of trend lists for a few years now – but it’s never quite managed to break into the mainstream.

In 2018, a Gartner survey put AI adoption at around 4%, which climbed to 14% in 2019. So, there’s evidence of a positive trend in business leaders embracing the potential of artificial intelligence, but not enough to declare it mainstream yet.

There are a few reasons for this. For some, it’s down to an unwillingness to invest in AI and machine learning – and it can be expensive, depending on your implementation. For others, it’s down to misconceptions about what exactly AI is, and what it means for an organisation. There’s also the question of technological maturity – adopting AI can be a step too far, too soon for an organisation that’s early in its digital transformation.

Artificial intelligence looks different for everyone

Everyone has a slightly different idea of what AI actually is, in public and in business. And that’s not surprising – AI and machine learning mean different things to different businesses, and that’s led to confusion in the industry.

The fact is that ‘artificial intelligence’ in your organisation will probably look quite different to others, depending on where you are in your digital maturity curve. For one organisation, something as simple as basic process automation might be considered AI. But for others, it will become a major component of their IT infrastructure; something that’s intrinsic to everyday operations and strategic decision-making.

The important thing is to design and implement your AI and machine learning technologies at the right pace for your organisation, and focus on building a business case that represents effective, targeted ways AI can make a difference.

Partnership is the way forward

Some hesitation that’s holding back the widespread adoption of AI comes from a lingering perception that the technology is going to take over the workplace. But as it matures, the industry is increasingly seeing more evidence of the value of a human-AI partnership approach to implementation.

Gartner calls it ‘augmented intelligence’ – it’s the idea that the learning and decision-making that AI handles in an organisation needs to be influenced and mediated by human workers.

Gartner’s expecting AI augmentation to create an eye-watering $2.9 trillion of global business value by 2021, and unlock up to 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity. This is a significant claim – and if it’s going to come to fruition, AI adoption will be rapidly picking up pace over the next two years.

Data connectivity the foundation of AI

As with many new and growing technologies, data is at the core of successful AI implementation. As a high-demand technology, it’s going to put a lot of extra pressure on business networks – which means fast, consistent connectivity will be vital.

AI analytics, machine learning algorithms, and the ever-expanding quantities of data required to feed them will need guaranteed, flexible, and scalable bandwidth, especially as more complex computing is done closer to the edge of the network.

Learn more

This is just one of seven key interconnection trends we’ve identified – and we’re tracking its progress throughout this year and beyond. Read our guide to the industry’s top interconnection trends to learn about the rest.