Global spending on AI to double, says IDC

Worldwide spending on artificial intelligence (AI) is forecast to double over the coming for years to hit $110 billion by 2024, according to new data from IDC.

The figure, which comes from the analyst firm’s latest Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide, calculates a CAGR of 20.1% as adopting AI becomes a ‘must’ in the enterprise.

In particular, companies will utilise AI to deliver a better customer experience, as well as help employees to become better at their jobs. Automated customer service agents, sales process recommendation and automation, as well as automated threat intelligence and prevention, are the primary use cases outlined by IDC.

Retail and banking are the two industries most likely to splurge in the coming years. The former, unsurprisingly, will focus more on customer experience, while the latter will invest on fraud analysis and investigation, as well as program advisors and recommendation systems.

Other industries have hit something of a proverbial wall, primarily as a result of Covid-19. Transportation, as well as the services industry – including leisure and hospitality – have already struggled with the pandemic. Naturally, IDC argued, AI investments will be on the back burner here in 2020. Yet the pandemic has seen some innovation; the research specifically noted hospitals who were using AI to speed up Covid-19 diagnosis and testing.

“Companies will adopt AI – not just because they can, but because they must,” said Ritu Jyoti, program vice president for artificial intelligence at IDC. “AI is the technology that will help businesses to be agile, innovate, and scale. The companies that become ‘AI powered’ will have the ability to synthesise information, the capacity to learn, and the capability to deliver insights at scale.”

In other words, leading organisations will be able to use AI to convert data into information and insights, understand those relationships and apply those insights to business problems, and then support decisions and bring through automation

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