Artificial intelligence covers many areas from deep learning to deterministic AI, but the number one question I get about Artificial Intelligence is, “how much do AI projects cost”? Of course, the required budget depends on the nature of the project but vendors often don’t share this information and companies looking to implement AI are left in the dark wondering if they are spending too much or if they can afford AI at all.
In the case of deep learning, it is necessary to prepare large amounts of data and to validate their quality. These are projects that can enlist a large and therefore expensive team, so deep learning is mostly accessible to large companies, or at least to those with large amounts of data and solid IT teams. So how much should you budget for AI projects? In all other cases, you must account for these three elements:
How much do AI Projects Cost: The Open Source Approach
Most artificial intelligence software/platforms are open-source and/or free. Even Google and Microsoft had to follow suit. The scale of the AI market justifies this free approach because it enables a business model based on consulting, technical support, or server rentals in addition to the software. Major universities around the world are also advancing development in his area. Their goal is to gain recognition, not to become publishers of software for sale.
How much do AI Projects Cost: It’s worth investing in expertise
The market supply of available AI technologies is overwhelming, and it can be a challenge for companies looking for AI solutions to find the right one let alone work with the vendor to implement the tool. It is therefore necessary, for initial projects, to engage IT service companies with real expertise in this area. [Author’s note: I don’t sell this type of service!]
How much do AI Projects Cost: Keep it Flexible
An AI project develops through iteration over about a month. Do not sign a rigid six-month contract! You should see the first results very quickly. We speak of an “agile” approach here. However, don’t trust free services and technology: You need to understand the business model of the company/ organization that sells the AI software. How does it intend to pay its salaries, how does it make money? If it has a poor business model it may disappear leaving you stuck with software that no one can help you with.
In my book “The Rise of the Cobot available on Amazon, I present about twenty concrete examples of applications made with one or more AI modules. The cost of each proposed application’s first version rarely exceeds $50K.