Despite companies turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to improve internal business functions and boost customer experiences, confusion around the technology remains, according to a CompTIA report released Wednesday.

The report surveyed 500 US business and technology professionals to determine how comfortable users are with implementing AI. Only 29% of companies said they regularly use AI, the report found. While this number is up five percentage points from 2017, the rate is still low enough to indicate a lack of comfortability with the tech.

SEE: Special report: How to implement AI and machine learning (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Just 19% of companies said they have expert knowledge in AI, and 29% said their knowledge was moderately high, the report found.

“Artificial intelligence represents a new way of thinking about software,” Seth Robinson, senior director of technology analysis at CompTIA, said in a press release. “We’re no longer asking computers to produce a defined result every time, but to produce an undefined result based on general rules. Understanding this difference can be challenging, especially when most businesses are not actively developing their own AI algorithms.”

The main problem is that organizations don’t appear to be on the same page about how they want to implement AI, the report said. Only 18% of organizations said they know exactly where they want to be in their data practices, according to the report.

AI has countless use cases for the enterprise. Some of the most popular use cases include improving workflows (52%), analyzing large datasets (51%), enhancing the customer experience (48%), and with security monitoring and detection (47%), the report found.

The most beneficial use case for organizations that do use AI was cutting costs, the report added.

“AI can help with cost savings, but the greater potential lies in opening new doors,” Robinson said. “Companies that are approaching AI as an IT activity should consider its far-reaching implications and move towards a more collaborative model. AI is a topic that should involve the entire organization.”

For more detailed examples, check out Five steps for getting started with AI in your business on TechRepublic.

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Image: iStockphoto/Tero Vesalainen