AI

In 2022, more businesses used AI to do more things

One in two global businesses are using AI today, per McKinsey, up from 20% in 2017.
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Francis Scialabba, Dianna “Mick” McDougall

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From AI-generated movie scripts to “magic avatars,” the AI buzz has continued through 2022—and in the business world, adoption of the tech has more than doubled over the last five years, per a new report.

In 2017, one in five businesses surveyed reported using AI in “at least one business area,” compared to one in two today, according to McKinsey’s annual Global Survey on AI. But that’s not the only thing that’s grown: The average number of AI “capabilities” those businesses are using has also doubled from 1.9 to 3.8, with robotic process automation, computer vision, and natural language text understanding leading the charge.

In other words…More businesses are using AI for more things.

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Even amid a broader market downturn, business spend hasn’t stopped flowing to AI.

In 2017, 40% of businesses using AI reported spending 5% of their digital budgets or more on the technology; five years later, that’s increased to 52% of businesses. And 63% expect their business investment in AI to increase through 2025.

And in the “spending money to make money” category, businesses reported seeing the biggest revenue effects from AI’s use in marketing and sales, product and service development, and strategy and corporate finance, per the report—with “the highest cost benefits from AI in supply-chain management,” amid the global supply-chain crisis.

The AI talent shortage seems to be continuing, with most businesses reporting that AI-related roles haven’t become much easier to fill this year, per the report. But this comes alongside data that diversity in AI is still sorely lacking.

For the respondents’ organizations, an average of 27% of AI team members identified as women, and just 25% of team members identified as racial or ethnic minorities. Nearly three in 10 businesses reported having “no minority employees working on their AI solutions.”

Finally, a large share of businesses using AI may get a failing grade in the “risk mitigation” category. Despite increases in AI adoption, researchers wrote, “there have been no substantial increases in reported mitigation of any AI-related risks from 2019—when we first began capturing this data—to now.”

Keep up with the innovative tech transforming business

Tech Brew keeps business leaders up-to-date on the latest innovations, automation advances, policy shifts, and more, so they can make informed decisions about tech.