Most companies spend at least $51,000 on AI, report finds: 4 notes

As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly available and beneficial across industries, organizations around the globe are deploying AI at exponential rates — but in vastly different capacities, backed by varying amounts of funding and executive support, and with mixed results.

A recent report from Figure Eight, a San Francisco-based AI company, surveyed more than 300 companies from a variety of industries about how AI fits into their organizations. For example, per the report, among those companies incorporating AI into their workflows, annual budgets for these initiatives range from below $10,000 to well over $5 million.

Here are four takeaways from the report, The State of AI and Machine Learning, regarding crucial aspects of AI deployment such as budgetary breakdown, executive oversight and organizational obstacles to initiatives' success.

1. While nearly 30 percent of companies surveyed reported AI budgets of $250,000 or more, just as many said their organizations allot below $10,000 to the cause. Overall, just over half of respondents' AI budgets fell above $51,000, with a small percentage reaching up into the multimillions.

2. The biggest bottlenecks preventing AI projects from moving forward come from a lack of technical resources and qualified people. Other major obstacles include data management issues, inadequate amounts of data and a lack of buy-in from executives and other management.

3. When executives do buy in to AI, however, they are typically led by a chief technology officer, according to 21 percent of survey respondents. Another 11 percent said their CEOs are leading the charge, with the percentage of chief data officers, COOs and CMOs heading up AI initiatives in the single digits.

4. Finally, despite the growing importance of AI across industries, organizations still have a long way to go before they are using advanced technologies to their full potential. About 20 percent of technical practitioners and line-of-business owners surveyed said AI is not core to their business whatsoever; of the 80 percent who said it is, the majority placed its importance below 50 percent of the company's focus.

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