A third of businesses plan to set to spend $1 million on AI by 2023

Industry-wide funding for the technology looks set to increase at a "moderate to fast pace" throughout 2022

A third of organisations with plans to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) have said they will invest $1 million or more into the technology over the next two years. 

That's according to Gartner's annual Emerging Technology Product Leaders survey, where the majority of respondents (87%) predict industry-wide funding for AI increasing at a "moderate to fast pace" throughout 2022.

The survey was conducted between April and June of this year with 268 respondents from China, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Singapore, the UK and the US. Respondents were required to be involved in their organisation's portfolio decisions when it comes to emerging technology and to work at an organisation in the high-tech industry with enterprise-wide revenue for fiscal year 2020 of $10 million or more.

AI seems to be the priority for most, with an average planned investment of $679,000 in computer vision over the next two years. Compared with other emerging technology areas, such as cloud and IoT, AI technologies had the second-highest reported 'mean funding' allocation.  "Rapidly evolving, diverse AI technologies will impact every industry," said Errol Rasit, managing vice president at Gartner.

"Technology organisations are increasing investments in AI as they recognise its potential to not only assess critical data and improve business efficiency, but also to create new products and services, expand their customer base and generate new revenue. These are serious investments that will help to dispel AI hype."

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Just over half of the respondents reported significant customer adoption of their AI-enabled products and services. 41% per cent of the respondents also cited AI emerging technologies as still being in development or at early adoption stages, suggesting there is a wave of potential adoption as new or augmented AI products and services are set to enter general availability.

The report is in contrast to another Gartner report from earlier in September, which highlighted the lack of talent the UK is currently facing and the barriers it could create for businesses adopting emerging technology. 

The perceived lack of talent was cited as the leading factor inhibiting adoption for six technology domains: compute infrastructure and platform services, network, security, digital workplace, IT automation and storage and database.  

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