Earlier this year, Firebrand Group asked a group of top marketers and innovators about their big ideas for 2017. For the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you insights based on those interviews.

We spoke to John Frankel, founding partner of ff Venture Capital, about what 2017 has in store for artificial intelligence.

Big Idea: Software might be eating the world, but AI is eating software

Artificial intelligence is having a moment (or maybe several). H&R Block recently announced that they were teaming up with Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence system, this tax season, combining years of expertise with state-of-the-art technology to provide a personalized, easy to use experience for the customer. Facebook is using machine learning to prevent advertisers from discriminating against certain demographic groups. Even car companies are getting in on the action — Ford is planning to invest $1 billion in an artificial intelligence startup focusing on self-driving cars.

There’s a lot to be excited about. But as John Frankel, founding partner of ff Venture Capital, points out, “It’s easy to get caught up in the flagrant use of buzzwords associated with the space.” Companies looking to invest in AI need to be better informed, not only about the various AI tools in existence but also about what AI can do for their companies.

Frankel suggests a few possible use cases for those companies looking to beat the competition: chatbots, the automation of manual processes, and the use of unstructured data (data which has previously not been stored).

As for specific innovators that companies should be paying attention to, Frankel points to “the big players”: Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, among others. But he also notes, “Regardless of your specific industry, there’s likely already a class of rising startups using AI to reimagine—and hopefully improve and simplify—the work you do every day.”

AI can be complicated to understand. But artificial intelligence and the technology that comes with it are increasingly present in everyday life — from social networks to tax returns. Those innovators who are capable of seeing the benefits of AI now will be the ones to reap the rewards later on.

For more insights on artificial intelligence and many other topics, download our 20.17 Big Ideas eBook here.