Cognitive systems and AI revenues to hit US$47 billion in 2020, says IDC

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 26 October 2016
Cognitive systems and AI revenues to hit US$47 billion in 2020, says IDC

Widespread adoption of cognitive systems and artificial intelligence (AI) across various industries will drive worldwide revenues from nearly US$8.0 billion in 2016 to more than US$47 billion in 2020, according to IDC.

IDC’s new Worldwide Semiannual Cognitive/Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide the market for cognitive/AI solutions will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55.1% between 2016 and 2020.

The analyst firm predicts that the banking, retail, healthcare and discrete manufacturing industries will generate more than 50% of all worldwide cognitive/AI revenues in 2016. Banking and retail will each deliver nearly US$1.5 billion, while healthcare and discrete manufacturing will deliver the greatest revenue growth over the 2016-2020 forecast period, with CAGRs of 69.3% and 61.4%, respectively. Education and process manufacturing will also experience significant growth over the forecast period.

These industries will use cognitive/AI systems to automate a broad range of functions.

“Software developers and end user organisations have already begun the process of embedding and deploying cognitive/AI into almost every kind of enterprise application or process,” said David Schubmehl, research director of cognitive systems and content analytics at IDC. “Identifying, understanding, and acting on the use cases, technologies, and growth opportunities for cognitive/AI systems will be a differentiating factor for most enterprises and the digital disruption caused by these technologies will be significant.”

In 2016, companies are expected to invest in AI technologies for automated customer service agents, quality management investigation and recommendation systems, diagnosis and treatment systems, and fraud analysis and investigation.

The use cases that will experience the fastest revenue growth over the next five years are public safety and emergency response, pharmaceutical research, diagnosis and treatment systems, supply and logistics, quality management investigation and recommendation systems, and fleet management.

“Near-term opportunities for cognitive systems are in industries such as banking, securities and investments, and manufacturing,” said Jessica Goepfert, programme director of customer insights and analysis at IDC. “In these segments, we find a wealth of unstructured data, a desire to harness insights from this information, and an openness to innovative technologies.”

This year, the US and Canada will spend around US$6.2 billion on cognitive/AI technology, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will remain the second largest region throughout the forecast period. However, cognitive/AI revenues from Asia Pacific including Japan will nearly close the gap with EMEA by 2020.

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