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Bridging the Gap: AIs Hype vs. its Real-world Impact in Business



Last Updated on December 4, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

Title: Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Business: Exploring the Divide between Mention and Implementation

Word Count: 384

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword in the business world, with a recent analysis of S&P 500 earnings calls revealing that nearly half of the companies mentioned AI as frequently as the Federal Reserve and interest rates. This increase in interest can be attributed to the introduction of ChatGPT by OpenAI in November 2022, sparking a surge in discussions related to AI during earnings calls.

Even though the discussions surrounding AI have surged, a survey conducted by the Census Bureau found that only a meager 4.4% of businesses in the US reported using AI to produce goods or services in recent times. Companies like Salesforce, a leader in the tech industry, have started emphasizing the significance of AI. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, highlighted during an earnings call that they are guiding their customers into “the new AI era” and launching a $500 million generative AI fund.

Interestingly, non-tech companies such as Walmart and Bath & Body Works are also venturing into the realm of AI. Walmart is currently testing AI-powered search and chat features, while Bath & Body Works is piloting a machine-learning tool to regain inactive customers. Despite these efforts, the actual implementation of AI remains conservative, with only a small fraction of businesses utilizing AI to create products.

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Various reasons contribute to this divide between mention and implementation. Some businesses may use the hype around AI to demonstrate long-term growth to investors while facing challenges in adapting to an emerging technology that is still in its early stages. Furthermore, resource limitations, including the costs of AI tools and a scarcity of knowledgeable employees, hinder widespread adoption.

Experts anticipate an “AI divide” to emerge between businesses and cities that can effectively leverage AI and those that cannot, with early adopters clustering in “superstar” cities. However, these same experts, like Mike Loukas, CEO of TrueMark Investments, predict that more businesses will incorporate AI into their operations in the next five to ten years through accessible applications built on top of AI. These applications will enable businesses to operate more efficiently and smoothly without requiring direct interaction with AI technology itself.

In conclusion, while AI is becoming a prominent topic of discussion among businesses, its actual implementation remains limited. Nevertheless, the future appears promising, with more accessible AI applications expected to drive widespread adoption and revolutionize various industries in the years to come.

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Dina J. Miller is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for business and education. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has established herself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Her work can be found in a variety of MBA magazines and college publications, where she provides insightful commentary on current trends and issues in the field. Dina's expertise in business and education stems from her extensive academic background. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a top-tier business school, where she excelled in her studies and developed a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. Her academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into several prestigious academic societies.

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