$52.2 Billion To Be Spent Worldwide on AI Systems in 2021

According to Artificial Intelligence Institute, enterprises are investing in artificial intelligence in a big way. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), from 2017 to 2018, worldwide spending on AI and cognitive computing went up by more than 50 percent in twelve months to an estimated $19.1 billion worldwide.

In fact, it’s predicted that cognitive and AI spending will grow to $52.2 billion in 2021 and achieve a compound annual growth rate of 46.2 percent over the 2016-2021 forecast period.

Research director at IDC David Schubmehl expands, “Interest and awareness of AI is at a fever pitch. Every industry and every organization should be evaluating AI to see how it will affect their business processes and go-to-market efficiencies.”

In terms of industries, retail is expected to become the industry leader in AI spending in 2018, with $3.4 billion being invested in AI use cases such as automated customer service agents and expert shopping advisors. The second largest spending in AI comes from the banking industry, which will spend $3.3 billion this year on automated threat intelligence and fraud analysis.

The cognitive/AI use cases that will see the largest spending totals in 2018 are: automated customer service agents ($2.4 billion) with significant investments from the retail and telecommunications industries; automated threat intelligence and prevention systems ($1.5 billion) with the banking, utilities, and telecommunications industries as the leading industries; and sales process recommendation and automation ($1.45 billion) spending led by the retail and media industries. Three other use cases will be close behind in terms of global spending in 2018: automated preventive maintenance; diagnosis and treatment systems; and fraud analysis and investigation. The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the 2016-2021 forecast period are: public safety and emergency response (75.4% CAGR), pharmaceutical research and discovery (70.5% CAGR), and expert shopping advisors and product recommendations (67.3% CAGR).

Worldwide Spending on Cognitive and Artificial Intelligence Systems Will Grow to $19.1 Billion in 2018, According to New IDC Spending Guide
Worldwide Spending on Cognitive and Artificial Intelligence Systems Will Grow to $19.1 Billion in 2018, According to New IDC Spending Guide

A little more than half of all cognitive/AI spending throughout the forecast will go toward cognitive software. The largest software category is cognitive applications, which includes cognitively-enabled process and industrial applications that automatically learn, discover, and make recommendations or predictions. The other software category is cognitive platforms, which facilitate the development of intelligent, advisory, and cognitively enabled applications. Industries will also invest in IT services to help with the development and implementation of their cognitive/AI systems and business services such as consulting and horizontal business process outsourcing related to these systems. The smallest category of technology spending will be the hardware (servers and storage) needed to support the systems.

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