According to a recent article, the AI future in IT for cognitive systems will likely exceed $40 billion by the year 2020 according to IDC. Although regular electronics consumers recognize AI applications like self-driving cars it will be AI’s predictive capabilities that will permeate multiple industries outside of mainline IT, like business analysis, inventing, sales, law, and logistics. Driven by gaming technology, GPUs, AI systems have demonstrated extraordinary capabilities when analyzing reams of structured and unstructured data and presenting non-intuitive recommendations to human handlers.

In order for CIOs to catch the AI wave, they should remain aware of some emerging trends.

AI lives in the limitless Cloud. New providers are giving small and mid-sized business to advanced AI tools and techniques. For example, Oracle has acquired a startup that adds machine learning capabilities to a data-as-a-service offering that matches data to an individual using multiple digital devices.

AI as an open source tool. Elon Musk launched OpenAI, a nonprofit research lab intended “to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole.” Alchemy,, and even Google’s TensorFlow have entered the open source realm.

AI in security (but not as the Terminator, yet). Supervised machine learning models using an algorithm that gives parameters in its data analysis are already being used in spam filters. However, unsupervised, complex, machine learning models show promise in expanding pattern-recognition data capabilities thereby increasing the effectiveness of security applications.

CIOs should take immediate steps to get involved in the AI conversation to avoid being bypassed as they were during the evolution of Cloud computing. Says IDC’s Schubmehl “The people who are driving this conversation have not been the IT department—it’s been the line of business,” Redshaw adds “This stuff is conceptually simple but really, really hard to do,” Redshaw says. “Get a partner that has done a lot in this space so you can learn.” Schubmehl adds “I know of a couple of large companies that have set up cognitive swat teams, AI swat teams, that are providing information and advice to the line-of-business units about this, acting as advisers under the auspices of the CIO.”