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AI Adoption Lags Ambition (Surprised?)

Gartner 19 Nov 2020 12:10

Every year, in our estimable CIO survey, we ask respondents CIOs whether they are employing given technologies now or whether they expect to in a guessable future timeframe. For the last few years, we gathered information about AI adoption rates. Here’s what the growth looks like in terms of actual AI employment:

2018 2019 2020 2021
4% 14% 19% 24%

Keeping in mind we do the survey every year but name it the year after, because that’s what it’s published for, for advice value. In other words, I didn’t jump forward into next year (as attractive as that might be) to gather survey results from then about AI adoption rates.

Now, here’s the thing, though. In those same years, the percentage of respondents who thought they would employ artificial intelligence within the next 12 months was pretty consistent:

2018 2019 2020 2021
21% 23% 25% 23%

So if we phase shift that, we get a pretty challenging story that I can sum up like this: Only about 1 in 5 CIOs who thought they would employ AI within the next 12 months actually achieved that, especially in the 2019-2021 timeframe. That’s four disappointed CIOs for every happyish one. That’s a big oof, as my 19-y-o son would say, complete with texted meme.

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