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In a few years companies will spend billions of dollars annually on AI's massive disruptions.


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Neural nets can already recognize your face in photos, spot fraud, understand human speech, recommend songs and suggest replies to email. Google's Project Magenta composes music, an early example of machine-created creativity. Comma.ai is using patterns learned from real-world drivers to teach its AI technology to drive for us. The company hopes to sell the technology by year's end.

Those are big steps on the way to the end game: creating machines that can think abstractly and adapt on the fly. Just like us.

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and IBM all have AI projects in the works. Google alone has more than 100 teams focused on AI. The company reportedly spent more than $400 million in 2014 to acquire DeepMind, a machine-learning startup. DeepMind's AlphaGo project caused a stir earlier this year when it beat a human champion at Go, considered the world's most difficult strategy game. 

In a few years, companies will spend billions of dollars annually on AI, Forrester analyst Diego Lo Giudice predicts.