Why AI will create $2.9T in business value by 2021

Organizations can expect artificial intelligence to create an estimated 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally, according to Gartner.

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The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution is beginning to pay off: By 2021, AI augmentation will create $2.9 trillion in business value, and 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally, according to a Gartner report released Monday. 

Gartner defined AI augmentation as a partnership model of AI and humans working together to improve cognitive performance, including learning and decision-making. 

SEE: Special report: Managing AI and ML in the enterprise (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

"Augmented intelligence is all about people taking advantage of AI," Svetlana Sicular, research vice president at Gartner, said in a press release. "As AI technology evolves, the combined human and AI capabilities that augmented intelligence allows will deliver the greatest benefits to enterprises."

By 2020, Gartner predicts that decision support/augmentation will be the largest type of AI in terms of the greatest business value add and the fewest barriers to adoption, followed by agents, smart products, and decision automation. By 2030, decision support/augmentation will surpass all other types of AI initiatives, accounting for 44% of global business value garnered from AI, Gartner found. 

The main source of business value created by augmented intelligence is found in customer experience, according to the report. AI augmentation can reduce mistakes while delivering convenience and personalization to customers at scale. 

"The goal is to be more efficient with automation, while complementing it with a human touch and common sense to manage the risks of decision automation," Sicular said in the release. "The excitement about AI tools, services and algorithms misses a crucial point: The goal of AI should be to empower humans to be better, smarter and happier, not to create a 'machine world' for its own sake. Augmented intelligence is a design approach to winning with AI, and it assists machines and people alike to perform at their best."

For more, check out How to govern AI in your organization: 6 tips on TechRepublic. 

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By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.