Almost half of businesses have implemented machine learning

Research by STX Next, a software development company in Europe specialising in Python, has uncovered that 47% of businesses have incorporated machine learning (ML) into their business processes.

While the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and ML is growing, the research suggests that this growth could be hindered without the investment in specialised technical teams to facilitate integration.

The survey, however, highlights a gap: 50% of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) currently do not have a dedicated AI, ML, or data science specialist on their team. Additionally, 41% of technical leaders report that their businesses have not implemented any AI technologies, indicating significant room for progress.

These insights are from the 2023 Global CTO Survey conducted by STX Next, which involved 500 global CTOs discussing their organisations' biggest challenges. Other significant findings include:

  • Image detection/segmentation is the most prevalent AI solution in businesses at 23%, followed by recommendation systems at 20% and optical character or text recognition at 19%.
  • 24% of companies have implemented natural language processing, and 22% have adopted deep learning.
  • Only a quarter of companies have a dedicated AI/Data division, and 38% have between one and five team members in a specialised AI/ML or data science role.

Bartek Roszak, Head of AI at STX Next, commented: “AI’s popularity this year has been largely driven by the success of large language models like ChatGPT. However, AI has a broader range of applications that can support various business functions. In 2024, we hope to see a broader adoption of AI and ML in other business areas.

"That said, the survey results are not entirely surprising. AI’s proficiency in automating repetitive tasks and recognising patterns in images and text is well recognised by technical professionals. Yet, it's surprising that only a quarter of businesses have adopted these technologies. AI has the potential to transform numerous industries, but more needs to be done to educate the market about its capabilities.

"Our survey also shows that while leaders recognise the potential of AI, there is a clear need for more investment in specialised resources for its development. Implementing ML in some form will become crucial to keep pace with industry changes and meet customer expectations.

"This importance will become more evident over the next year as organisations seek ways to scale their operations economically and efficiently and address new challenges. In many cases, leaders will have to evaluate how off-the-shelf ML solutions can support their business and determine the necessary investment in R&D to achieve the required expertise.

“AI and ML’s popularity is set to continue growing. CTOs should embrace its potential, balancing the needs of the business with those of clients and customers. Those who enhance their skillsets to leverage AI’s potential will see significant benefits in 2024.”