Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:

  • 61% of businesses said they implemented AI in 2017, up from just 38% in 2016. –Narrative Science, 2018
  • The most widely-used AI-powered solutions are in predictive analytics, machine learning, and natural language processing. –Narrative Science, 2018

Though the promise of artificial intelligence (AI) always appears to be on the horizon, many companies are already realizing its benefits, according to a new report from Narrative Science and the National Business Research Institute. Some 61% of businesses said they implemented AI in 2017–up from just 38% in 2016, demonstrating that AI has finally hit the enterprise in a meaningful way.

Tech innovation is often driving AI’s enterprise adoption: Of the nearly 200 executives surveyed, 71% said their company has an “innovation strategy” to push investments in new technologies like AI. And 59% of companies said they had a budget to invest in innovation, and 62% said that budget has increased in the past year.

“The time has come for every enterprise to come to grips with AI’s impact and challenges, and begin to build a roadmap to harness its potential to transform businesses and industries,” the report stated.

SEE: IT leader’s guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

Where is AI actually being used in the enterprise? Predictive analytics (25%), machine learning (22%), and natural language processing or generation (14%) top the list of most widely used AI-powered solutions, followed by voice recognition and response (14%), virtual personal assistants/chatbots (11%), and diagnosis/recommendation engines (11%).

These AI tools are having an impact on many parts of the business, including business intelligence (90%), finance (87%), compliance/risk (55%), product management (68%), marketing/sales (77%), and communications (43%), according to the report.

In terms of benefits from AI, executives surveyed named identifying business opportunities, automating repetitive tasks, improving workforce productivity, and competing with peers as the top positive outcomes from implementing the technology.

The potential negative impacts of AI, including privacy issues and job replacement, must be addressed by executives by deploying AI in a transparent, clearly-defined manner, the report noted. “Workers and customers both want to understand where AI is being deployed and how AI is being used,” it stated.