The growth of artificial intelligence in recent years has been astounding — yet AI is still in the very early stages of growth. Where are we today with this new technology, and where are we heading? Which companies are struggling, and why? What’s coming next.

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AI for years has bSwissCognitiveeen a staple of science fiction — from the starship Enterprise ‘s talking computer in Star Trek in the 1960s, to the bionic Steve Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man in the 1970s, to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s time-traveling killer robot in the Terminator movies of the 1980s, to give just a few examples.

Now AI has moved beyond sci-fi and become real, with all sorts of technologies. Companies in a variety of industries are operating in countries around the world — and we are still in the very early stages of this exciting new era.

That’s great news for investors, workers and users, whether companies or individuals. However, not every company will do well. That means we must be able to tell the difference between the likely hits and misses before we spend our time or money. We Are Already Using AI.

We are already using AI in many different ways. We use it when we call a company for customer service and talk to a computer, example. We use it when we log onto a chat system and type our questions and get a response from a computer system rather than an individual. There are countless other ways AI is in common use today, and more applications are coming online all the time.

In a recent demonstration, Google had its AI technology call a hair salon and engage in a conversation with a live person. The AI scheduled an appointment, and the worker had no idea she was speaking to a machine. That type of presentation captures the imagination of the marketplace, and it’s an example of where we are today with AI.

IBM’s Watson blew us away in 2011 when it played the TV game show Jeopardy! Back then, AI was still new, and few knew much about it. In the years since, companies in every industry have been using AI technology to improve the way they do business. […]

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