For all of its upheaval, the deadly 2020 coronavirus pandemic—and efforts to stop it—has taught a valuable lesson: organizations that invest in technology survive. IT infrastructure initiatives put in place before the crisis have allowed countless businesses to shift to online commerce and remote working. In other words, operate during it.

The pandemic has taught a similar lesson about artificial intelligence (AI): Organizations are either on the right track with their AI strategies or, if anything, need to dramatically step up the pace of investment. Children’s Hospital chief information officer Dan Nigrin points out that AI applications that promote telehealth, for example, “are not necessarily covid-related, but certainly the pandemic has accelerated the consideration and use of these kinds of tools.”

In a recent MIT Technology Review Insights survey of 301 business and technology leaders, 38% report their AI investment plans are unchanged as a result of the pandemic, and 32% indicate the crisis has accelerated their plans. The percentages of unchanged and revved-up AI plans are greater at organizations that had an AI strategy already in place.

Consumers and business decision-makers are realizing there are many ways that AI augments human effort and experience. Technology leaders in most organizations regard AI as a critical capability that has accelerated efforts to increase operational efficiency, gain deeper insight about customers, and shape new areas of business innovation.

AI is not a new addition to the corporate technology arsenal: 62% of survey respondents are using AI technologies. Respondents from larger organizations (those with more than $500 million in annual revenue) have, at nearly 80%, higher deployment rates. Small organizations (with less than $5 million in revenue) are at 58%, slightly below the average.

But most organizations haven’t developed plans to guide them: a little more than a third (35%) of respondents indicate that they’re developing their

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By: Jason Sparapani
Title: A new horizon: Expanding the AI landscape
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Published Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2020 17:57:41 +0000

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