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Insight: State of AI & Machine Learning

Appen concluded a recent study on the state of the AI/ML segment of technology. The AI industry is growing and we’re all seeing expanding budgets fueling this growth. AI initiatives continue to scale as we’re seeing a shift in priorities to more organizations viewing deployment of practical AI as a core strategy and moving away from mere experimentation. This year, we investigated the usage of external data providers, examining how this growing trend impacts the delivery of AI. We discovered that partnering with an external data provider makes a significant difference in the successes of AI initiatives.

Key summary points of Appen's study found the following:

AI budgets have increased: Budgets from $500k to $5M have increased by 55% YoY, with only 26% reporting budgets under $500k, signaling broader market maturity.

An overwhelming majority of organizations have partnered with external training data providers to deploy and update AI projects at scale.

AI priorities vary by organization size, with scaling notably more important for larger enterprises while data diversity is more important among small and medium organizations.

Companies report a high commitment to data security and privacy, and are open to sharing their data with others.

While business leaders and technologists tend to agree more in 2021, there are still some core disconnects in areas like ethics and interpretability.

Enterprises of all sizes confirmed they accelerated their AI strategy as a result of COVID-19 in 2020 and will continue to do so in 2021.

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