Beware of companies claiming products have AI capabilities


Software companies are exploiting the current artificial intelligence (AI) craze by exaggerating the scope and capabilities of AI in their products, according to a report from Gartner. 

Gartner tracks product marketing hype with a tool it calls the Hype Cycle, measuring the growth and decline of products as they mature. It calls the process of overhyping AI “AI washing,” similar to the way the term “greenwashing” was used to describe exaggerated claims of environmental-friendliness in various products or practices. 

Gartner said more than 1,000 vendors say their products employ AI, but many are “applying the AI label a little too indiscriminately.” And it has happened fast.

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In January 2016, the term “artificial intelligence” was not in the top 100 search terms on gartner.com. By May 2017, the term ranked at number seven, a huge spike in popularity in a short amount of time. Gartner predicts that by 2020, AI will be virtually pervasive in almost every new software product and service and a top five investment priority for more than 30 percent of CIOs. 

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