Investments in artificial intelligence to triple, as firms seek payday

Worldwide spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence systems is expected to triple over the next three years, as organizations invest in projects that use cognitive/AI software capabilities, according to a recent report from International Data Corporation.

Spending on cognitive and AI systems will reach $77.6 billion in 2022. That’s up more than three times compared with the $24.0 billion spending forecast for 2018. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2017 to 2022 period will be 37 percent, the firm said.

Organizations using these technologies to drive innovation are seeing benefits in terms of revenue, profit and overall leadership in their respective industries and segments, said David Schubmehl, research director, cognitive/artificial intelligence systems at IDC.

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Software will be both the largest and fastest growing technology category throughout the forecast period, accounting for about 40 percent of all cognitive/AI spending and with a five-year CAGR of 43 percent.

Two areas of focus for these investments are conversational AI applications (such as personal assistants and chatbots) and deep learning and machine learning applications.

Hardware including servers and storage will be the second largest area of spending until late in the forecast, when it will be overtaken by spending on related IT and business services.

The cognitive/AI use cases that will see the largest spending totals next year are automated customer service agents ($2.9 billion), automated threat intelligence and prevention systems ($1.9 billion), sales process recommendation and automation ($1.7 billion) and automated preventive maintenance ($1.7 billion).

Use cases that will see the fastest investment growth over the forecast period are pharmaceutical research and discovery (47 percent CAGR), expert shopping advisors and product recommendations (47 percent CAGR), digital assistants for enterprise knowledge workers (45 percent CAGR), and intelligent processing automation (44 percent CAGR).

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