Connecting the Dots

Maximizing the Benefits of AI, From Business and Beyond

AI-based systems already are helping promote incredible economic progress around the world by making business processes faster, seamless, and more efficient. AI-based tools are enabling an unprecedented number of business applications, with algorithmic models, natural language processing, deep learning, cognitive computing, machine learning models, and neural networks all falling under the AI umbrella.

The concept of AI has been around for more than 60 years. It’s only recently become more widespread thanks to an increase in the volume, variety, and velocity of data; the sophistication of algorithms that turn the data into real-world applications; and the advancements in the seamlessness of storing, accessing, and using data. Some may think AI automatically implies human-level intelligence, but it more accurately implies an advanced set of tools and resources that provide more accurate answers and deliver more relevant information by augmenting and extending human potential.

To showcase some of the unprecedented business capabilities unleashed by AI, the BSA Foundation today released a primer on the benefits of AI across several business sectors. AI is enabling doctors to predict heart attacks more accurately, preventing billions in credit card fraud, cutting train delays, helping teachers customize lessons, connecting citizens with their elected officials, and so much more.

The primer also showcases how some of our partners are leveraging solutions for businesses to reap the benefits of AI-based tools. From Adobe Sensei to IBM Watson to Salesforce Einstein, we are witnessing a new era of AI-driven capabilities for businesses, big and small.

AI-based solutions for enterprise have ceased to be trendy applications and are now widely used, customized solutions for business. In fact, a 2017 PwC report on the global impact and adoption of AI reported that 72 percent of business decision makers believe that AI will be the competitive advantage of the future. And how can it not? AI is a dynamic driver of economic growth. The technology has all the makings of a game-changer for the global economy.

With all these benefits, we’re also mindful of the broader implications of AI. As the technology advances, it is critically important to proactively address the influence that AI could have on people and society in both the short and long run. We must help AI become a tool for societal good, develop best practices, and tackle transparency and ethical issues.

To unlock the vast benefits of AI, stakeholders need to nurture innovation in AI. Considering the ethical, social, economic, and legal implications of AI will remain crucial. Additional considerations for fostering discovery and innovation in AI include accelerating and investing in AI research and development, as well as growing the AI workforce pipeline by closing the skills gap and promoting computer science education. From a technical standpoint, having trustworthiness baked into these AI systems will continue to be an important part of ensuring adoption. Expanding the availability of datasets and promoting the use of cloud computing will also be essential.

To accomplish all these things, leaders from government, academia, industry, and the public, who all have a key stake in shaping the future of AI, must come together to listen, learn, and talk about their vital roles in advancing practices that empower AI to deliver its greatest positive potential.

Learn more about the economic impact of software, including AI, at

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Chris HopfenspergerChris Hopfensperger
Executive Director,

As the founding executive director of, Chris Hopfensperger leads the foundation’s efforts to help policymakers and the general public better understand the impact that software has on our lives, our economy, and our society. He also helps translate the foundation’s philanthropic and forward-looking agenda into efforts to address key issues facing the software industry.

More about Chris Hopfensperger


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