Revisiting The State of AI and Machine Learning 2021

The State of AI in 2021 Review

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In preparation to share our 8th annual State of AI Report, we’ve looked back on last year’s report to see how much the industry has progressed in a year and if our assumptions were accurate. Our goal was to provide a current picture of AI trends, priorities, and challenges faced by businesses building AI powered technology.

In last year’s edition of the State of AI and Machine Learning Report, we evaluated an industry that changed rapidly year-over-year. We surveyed US-based business leaders, managers, and practitioners who are comprised of data scientists, engineers, and developers. We gathered insights to understand their approaches to AI development, and their answers indicated important shifts taking place industry-wide. One of the biggest factors was the impact of the global pandemic. It forced organizations to evolve and globalize their technology to fit an increasingly virtual world. Topics we explored included budgets, deployments, and how organizations leverage external data partners.

2021 Key Findings

An apparent theme of the 2021 report was the critical need for companies to adopt AI technology initiatives before they were left behind—especially with the “new normal,” brought about by COVID-19. Businesses had to became creative and found success through increasing budgets and speeding up deployment. This accelerated the development of new products, processes, and services built on machine learning models. Priorities shifted from the previous years and there was a bigger emphasis on data diversity, bias reduction, and scaling. As with any industry some challenges remained present, particularly with obtaining high quality training data. This resulted in many companies turning to third-party data providers for the needed tools, expertise, and processes associated with the artificial intelligence lifecycle.

The Future of AI: 2022 Preview

This year, we are looking forward to seeing the impact of our industry in a post-COVID world. Our survey results include respondents from the UK and EMEA in addition to the US. We’ve noticed some interesting trends and we see companies are switching up the way they’ve been doing things . These changes are most noticeably reflected in budget and growth plans for the next year. While we’ve seen some decreases, we’ve seen some increases for larger companies. The impact from COVID is lessening, allowing companies some breathing room to evaluate next steps for their AI projects. One thing that’s apparent is an increased focus on sourcing ethically responsible AI data to ensure no bias exists in AI and machine learning models. In part, this means data quality, data diversity, and scale are considered to be of upmost importance.

To learn more about the upcoming trends, challenges, and biggest impacts read our 2022 State of AI and Machine Learning Report!

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