Forbes – A Push for Digital Transformation: The Global AI Investment Boom
ORIGINALLY POSTED: 22 DECEMBER 2021
AUTHOR: AJ ABDALLAT FORFORBES TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL
LOS ANGELES, CA
Artificial intelligence (AI) is making an impression on businesses and professionals. The impact has even been compared to the invention of the internet. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of this technology’s capabilities on macro and micro levels for individuals and venture groups to entire societies. AI interests have grown over the past decade, and we’ll continue that trend as more digital transformation efforts are implemented.
Investments Paint A Picture
Experts believe the capabilities of digital solutions like AI are limitless — they’re still in their infancy with endless room to run. In fact, the edge computing market is expected to grow by over 29% CAGR by 2026, which is an increase from over $2 billion in 2020 to nearly $11 billion.
Private equity and capital group activity over the past 10 to 20 years make clear that these groups see AI ventures as solid investments. A large amount of funding has been allotted to solutions supporting digitalization initiatives at the enterprise scale, with AI becoming the gold standard for contributing to that effort. In fact, “In 2019, privately held AI companies attracted nearly $40 billion in disclosed equity investment — defined as venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions — across more than 3,100 discrete transactions.”
Although AI has been overused by numerous tech and non-tech companies, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of some investment firms, numbers speak for themselves, and most haven’t been dissuaded. However, AI application by companies tacking on buzzwords with intentions to ride the trend’s coattails has made investors more discerning. This practice has forced them to gain an understanding of what AI means and how it’s differentiated within the financial industry. This scrutinization has led to a whole new degree of innovation.
Innovation In AI
As the power of data has grown, AI has become a primary tool for unleashing that power to its fullest potential. AI can allow us to capture and organize massive amounts of data, delivering the ability to extract insights we might not have otherwise uncovered.
AI has evolved to fit the needs of humans and how we process and work alongside large pools of data. This evolution has given rise to cognitive AI, which is an advanced hybrid approach uniting conventional and symbolic techniques, thereby enabling systems to produce transparent recommendations. These intelligent systems comprehend large quantities of variable data while applying situational awareness, codified expert human knowledge and best practices to detect issues and recommend solutions.
In contrast to “black box” issues facing solutions comprised solely of machine learning approaches, cognitive AI can explain the reasons behind its recommendations. Through transparent audit trails, humans receive comprehensive data, revealing the rationales, possibilities and confidence levels behind the decision-making processes.
The key to successful AI solutions is to build a primary set of models and propose hypothetical extensions. This can result in systems that encode expert knowledge in conjunction with historical and other external data to model hypothetical paths, predict problematic scenarios and recommend remediations, regardless of whether data is unstructured, unlabeled or missing. With these capabilities, the scalable distribution of trusted domain knowledge and expertise could lead to more confident decision-making, enhanced workforce effectiveness, risk mitigation and increased efficiency.
Investments Around The World
As the technology evolves, global decision-makers are taking notice and responding by outlining initiatives to realize the value of AI in resolving critical issues. Although using AI may provide competitive advantages for companies, it’s also become very useful in creating more efficient infrastructures and making a positive impact on the climate crisis. Countries and governments are formulating national AI strategies to ensure they aren’t missing out: “AI has the potential to deliver additional global economic activity of around $13 trillion by 2030, or about 16 percent higher cumulative GDP compared with today.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel are demonstrating AI readiness. For example, the UAE is becoming diligent in prioritizing AI implementation through the UAE Strategy for AI and the National Program for Artificial Intelligence. Israel and the U.S. also introduced a bill in 2021 outlining plans for opening a joint AI research center.
Singapore, South Korea, Japan and China encompass the countries in the Asia-Pacific region topping the scale for AI readiness. According to its New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, China has affirmed its aspiration to be the global leader in AI innovation by 2030, signifying its pledge to aggressive digital advancement. AI governance is of major importance for Singapore and China, which are founding advisory councils to establish how to best apply responsible methods and build trust.
The U.S. and Canada are also top innovators, with the U.S. leading the world in AI readiness. Both regions have robust strategies for implementing AI, as well as advancing technology and data infrastructure to facilitate efforts. The U.S. leads several initiatives, applying countrywide policies for AI progression. Canada was also one of the earliest to announce a national approach for AI with the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy initiative.
Investing In Our Future
AI is proving itself as the chosen technology, continuously evolving to assist in solving humanity’s most complex global issues. Investors have caught on, understanding the real value of this advancement and putting their money where it counts.
Due to the weight and complexity of the issues this world faces, global decision-makers have made it known they require AI solutions they can trust to conquer adoption hesitation. This is more readily achieved by selecting transparent AI. By applying explainable solutions similar to how humans comprehend and disentangle issues, stakeholders can grow AI’s value and make more purposeful decisions.
Global AI expansion can’t be ignored — from private equity to investment firms and governments demonstrating significant efforts, fostering unprecedented funding, prioritizing data governance, developing technological advancement strategies and constructing infrastructures to support AI’s acceleration — the list grows long. As AI advances with more wide-ranging applications, this momentum and capital influx isn’t likely to slow down any time soon.
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